Definition of dice in English:

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Pronunciation: /dʌɪs/

noun (plural same)

1A small cube with each side having a different number of spots on it, ranging from one to six, thrown and used in gambling and other games involving chance. See also die2.
Example sentences
  • Gauss's guess was based on throwing a dice with one side marked ‘prime’ and the others all blank.
  • She threw the dice, and got two fives and one four.
  • You rolled the dice and gambled - what have you got to lose?
1.1 [mass noun] A game played with dice.
Example sentences
  • A second widely held belief is that the phrase comes from the game of dice, suggesting a poor player wasn't any good because his ‘shakes’ were not effective enough.
  • When, after political struggles and a decision to divide the kingdom, Yudhihira lays claim to universal kingship, Duryodhana challenges him to a game of dice.
  • Another origin dates from the time of the Crusaders, who played a game of dice named after their place of encampment, the castle Hasart.
2Small cubes of food: cut the meat into dice
More example sentences
  • Early settlers, unused to such large marine creatures, cut them into dice called mootjies and simmered them with onions.
  • Wash, core and cut at least 5 pounds of ripe tomatoes into large dice.
  • We have changed the approach to incorporate tiny dices of pineapple in a mixture of cucumber and flakes of hot smoked salmon.


1 [no object] (often as noun dicing) Play or gamble with dice.
Example sentences
  • Four years older than John Peter of Bowhay, and seven older than Will, he was a bon vivant fond of dining and dicing: a suitable escort for his country cousins in Europe's most populous city.
  • He looked over at his fellow guards and saw them in the corner, dicing and conversing good-naturedly.
  • Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
1.1 (dice with) Take risks with; run the risk of: his side continue to dice with disaster you are dicing with an unknown problem
2 [with object] Cut (food or other matter) into small cubes: dice the peppers (as adjective diced) diced onions
More example sentences
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg whites, small diced carrots, onion, and celery.
  • Here, sweet red peppers are diced and sautéed with onions and garlic, combined with tomatoes and served as a soup with a raft of golden, fried feta cheese.
  • After dicing the carrots, onions, and celery and adding them to the broth of duck, Mr. Bishop set out a bowl and saucer and glass of water when suddenly he was interrupted by a knocking on the door.
3 [with object] Australian informal, dated Reject or abandon: he’d better behave, or I’ll dice him
1940s: extended use of dice 'gamble away'


Historically, dice is the plural of die, but in modern standard English dice is both the singular and the plural: throw the dice could mean a reference to either one or more than one dice.



dice with death

Take serious risks.
Example sentences
  • Young people do not appreciate that taking Ecstasy is dicing with death.
  • After the accident last October concern was raised that children as young as nine were dicing with death on the Parkway by playing ‘chicken’ in the fast-moving traffic.
  • Speeding motorists on West Yorkshire roads are dicing with death by driving on the wrong side of the road in an attempt to dodge speed cameras instead of slowing down.

no dice

informal, chiefly North American Used to refuse a request or indicate that there is no chance of success.
Example sentences
  • The district court said no dice, and the D.C. Circuit agreed in an incredibly short (4 pages, including heading material) opinion.
  • Well, DJ wanted an amp, but the one he picked out was $400, so no dice.
  • I've tried asking about the pics of kids and animals at the desk; no dice.

roll (or throw) of the dice

A risky attempt to do or achieve something: the merger was their last roll of the dice, and it failed miserably
More example sentences
  • Well, it's mainly a roll of the dice, but it's also some sort of instinct.
  • Back in 1997, when the idea was first mooted, Sex and the City was seen as a roll of the dice for Parker, then heading for her mid-30s. No one expected its enduring popularity.
  • For McCain, it would also be the ultimate gamble, an all-or-nothing roll of the dice to determine the last chapter of his political career.



Pronunciation: /ˈdʌɪsə/
Example sentences
  • ‘All around,’ Kermode comments, ‘were cardsharps and dicers, con men and money-lenders, roaring boys and roaring girls.’
  • Because you - the readers, the slicers, dicers and copiers - hold in your collective action the secret of the future of publishing.
  • It's a Chef's Pal, it's a dicer, grater, peeler all in one, never needs sharpening and it's dishwasher safe.


Middle English: from Old French des, plural of de (see die2).

  • Originally—and still in the USA—a gambler would throw two dice but one die. This singular form is now rare in British English, surviving mainly in the die is cast, ‘something has happened that cannot be undone’ said by Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon ( see cross). The word came from Latin datum ‘something given, starting point’, a form of dare ‘to give’. This was interpreted as ‘something given by chance or fortune’ and applied to the dice determining the outcome of chance. Playing or gambling with dice is the idea behind dicing with death. Journalists began to use the expression in the early 20th century to convey the risks taken by racing drivers in the pursuit of success in their sport. It is probably the source of the adjective dicey meaning ‘dangerous’, first used by RAF pilots in the 1950s. See also bodice

Words that rhyme with dice

advice, bice, Brice, choc ice, concise, entice, gneiss, ice, imprecise, lice, mice, nice, precise, price, rice, sice, slice, speiss, spice, splice, suffice, syce, thrice, top-slice, trice, twice, underprice, vice, Zeiss

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dice

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