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noun Informal.
  1. money in small amounts.
  2. rights; claims: I have dibs on the car when Jimmy brings it back.
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Origin of dibs

1720–30; shortening of earlier dibstones a children's game; see dib


verb (used without object), dibbed, dib·bing.
  1. to fish by letting the bait bob lightly on the water.
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Origin of dib

1600–10; expressive word akin to dab1, dip1, bob1, etc.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

privilege, request, entitlement, rights

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British Dictionary definitions for dibs


pl n
  1. another word for jacks
  2. a slang word for money
  3. (foll by on) informal rights (to) or claims (on): used mainly by children
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Word Origin

C18: shortened from dibstones children's game played with knucklebones or pebbles, probably from dib to tap, dip, variant of dab 1


verb dibs, dibbing or dibbed
  1. (intr) to fish by allowing the bait to bob and dip on the surface
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Word Origin

C17: perhaps alteration of dab 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dibs

children's word to express a claim on something, 1932, originally U.S., apparently a contraction of dibstone "a knucklebone or jack in a children's game" (1690s), of unknown origin.

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see dibs.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dibs


see have dibs on.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.