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domino1

[dom-uh-noh]
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noun, plural dom·i·noes.
  1. a flat, thumbsized, rectangular block, the face of which is divided into two parts, each either blank or bearing from one to six pips or dots: 28 such pieces form a complete set.
  2. dominoes, (used with a singular verb) any of various games played with such pieces, usually by matching the ends of pieces and laying the dominoes down in lines and angular patterns.
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Origin of domino1

First recorded in 1710–20; perhaps special use of domino2

domino2

[dom-uh-noh]
noun, plural dom·i·noes, dom·i·nos.
  1. a large, hooded cloak with a mask covering the eyes, worn at masquerades.
  2. the mask.
  3. a person wearing such dress.
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Origin of domino2

1710–20; < Italian: hood and mask costume < Medieval Latin or Middle French: black hood worn by priests in winter; obscurely akin to Latin dominus lord
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

visor, veil, cloak, camouflage, blind, visage, show, disguise, aspect, pretext, facade, affectation, air, hood, concealment, veneer, semblance, masquerade, screen, pose

Examples from the Web for dominoes

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I can see the dominoes with my fingers—touch is just as good as sight.

  • Henceforth nothing could be heard but the jingle of dominoes.

    Therese Raquin

    Emile Zola

  • He did not so much as lift his eyes from the dominoes beneath his fingers.

  • For some reason or other we did not begin that game of dominoes.

    Heart of Darkness

    Joseph Conrad

  • "We want to try on our dominoes," Sally said, rather taken aback.

    Phyllis

    Dorothy Whitehill


British Dictionary definitions for dominoes

dominoes

noun
  1. (functioning as singular) any of several games in which matching halves of dominoes are laid together
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domino1

noun plural -noes
  1. a small rectangular block used in dominoes, divided on one side into two equal areas, each of which is either blank or marked with from one to six dots
  2. (modifier) exhibiting the domino effecta domino pattern of takeovers
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See also dominoes

Word Origin

C19: from French, from Italian, perhaps from domino! master, said by the winner

domino2

noun plural -noes or -nos
  1. a large hooded cloak worn with an eye mask at a masquerade
  2. the eye mask worn with such a cloak
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Word Origin

C18: from French or Italian, probably from Latin dominus lord, master

Domino

noun
  1. Fats. real name Antoine Domino born 1928, US rhythm-and-blues and rock-and-roll pianist, singer, and songwriter. His singles include "Ain't that a Shame" (1955) and "Blueberry Hill" (1956)
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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 dominoes

n.

the usual form when referring to the game played with dominoes, c.1800; see domino.

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domino

n.

1801, from French domino (1771), perhaps (on comparison of the black tiles of the game) from the meaning "hood with a cloak worn by canons or priests" (1690s), from Latin dominus "lord, master" (see domain), but the connection is not clear. Klein thinks it might be directly from dominus, "because he who has first disposed his pieces becomes 'the master.' " Metaphoric use in geopolitics is from April 1954, first used by U.S. President Eisenhower in a "New York Times" piece, in reference to what happens when you set up a row of dominos and knock the first one down.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper