teetotum

[ tee-toh-tuh m ]
/ tiˈtoʊ təm /

noun

any small top spun with the fingers.
a kind of die having four sides, each marked with a different initial letter, spun with the fingers in an old game of chance.

QUIZZES

Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of teetotum

1710–20; earlier T totum, alteration of totum name of toy (< Latin tōtum, neuter of tōtus all) by prefixing its initial letter, which appeared on one side of the toy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for teetotum

British Dictionary definitions for teetotum

teetotum
/ (tiːˈtəʊtəm) /

noun archaic

a spinning top bearing letters of the alphabet on its four sides
such a top used as a die in gambling games

Word Origin for teetotum

C18: from T totum, from T initial inscribed on one of the faces + totum the name of the toy, from Latin tōtum the whole
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