There are 2 main definitions of die in English:


Line breaks: die
Pronunciation: /dʌɪ

verb (dies, dying, died)

[no object]
1(Of a person, animal, or plant) stop living: he died of AIDS trees are dying from acid rain [with object]: the king died a violent death
More example sentences
  • In fact, I can't recall any account of an oak tree actually dying from old age; it may be that they go on and on, changing form and surviving until some accident destroys them.
  • The fish farmers had to stop their activities, as their fish and shrimp died from the pollution.
  • How many people have seen a fox dying from lead shot poisoning?
pass away, pass on, lose one's life, depart this life, expire, breathe one's last, draw one's last breath, meet one's end, meet one's death, lay down one's life, be no more, perish, be lost, go the way of the flesh, go the way of all flesh, go to glory, go to one's last resting place, go to meet one's maker, cross the great divide, cross the Styx
push up the daisies, be six feet under
North American informal bite the big one, buy the farm, check out, hand in one's dinner pail
Australian/New Zealand informal go bung
literary exit
archaic decease
1.1 (die out) Become extinct: many species died out
More example sentences
  • But this is the first time that a species which completely died out in Britain has been reintroduced.
  • Soon, if that trade isn't stopped, some species could die out altogether, said Prof Roberts.
  • This will be in the same way that species die out if they do not physically adapt to events and their environment.
become extinct, vanish, disappear, cease to be, cease to exist, be no more, perish, pass into oblivion;
become less common, become rarer, dwindle, peter out
1.2Be forgotten: her genius has assured her name will never die
1.3 [with adverbial] Become less loud or strong: after a while, the noise died down at last the storm died away
More example sentences
  • After the song died down, there was a loud applause and a lot of cheers from the crowd.
  • Friday was a bit of a false start as the contractions, if that is indeed what they were died away on Saturday.
  • It seems to have died down now that the song's popularity has waned.
fade, fall away, dwindle, melt away, dissolve, subside, decline, sink, lapse, ebb, wane, wilt, wither, evanesce, come to an end, end, vanish, disappear
fade (away), fall away, dwindle, melt away, subside, ebb, wane, come to an end
abate, subside, drop, drop off, drop away, fall away, lessen, ease (off), let up, decrease, diminish, moderate, decline, fade, dwindle, slacken, recede, tail off, peter out, taper off, wane, ebb, relent, become weaker, weaken, come to an end
archaic remit
1.4 (die back) (Of a plant) decay from the tip toward the root: rhubarb dies back to a crown of buds each winter
More example sentences
  • Their above-ground parts die back, but their roots overwinter, and the plants resprout in the spring.
  • But grasses are poor fodder: tough, low in nutrients, high in tooth-destroying silicates, and dying back to the roots in cold weather.
  • This is a funny time of year in the garden with many plants dying back and everything tending to look rather messy and damp.
1.5 (die off) Die one after another until few or none are left: the original founders died off or retired
More example sentences
  • We will leave the flowers until they have died off completely and then remove them.
  • After blooming in the spring, allow the plants to grow until they die off.
  • Until they die off, I fear we'll have little chance of being taken seriously.
1.6(Of a fire or light) stop burning or gleaming: the fire had died and the room was cold
More example sentences
  • The fires are dying; other figures are spotted, hard to distinguish amongst the wisps of vapour that drift across the scene.
  • When the last of the natural light had died I heard Mathias' voice boom out through the night sky like the last guest trying to hail a cab home.
  • I am left alone, to wake and guard, until the seven fires die, and the fire in the pit also goes out.
1.7 informal (Of a machine) stop functioning or run out of electric charge: three toasters have died on me I was halfway through a text message when the phone died
More example sentences
  • If your engine dies in your car, you slow down and stop.
  • The engine died as he pulled into the spot and the transmission made a horrible, grinding noise as he shifted into park.
  • I took a deep breath and pulled over to park, but before I did the engine just died.
fail, cut out, give out, stop, halt, break down, stop working, cease to function;
peter out, fizzle out, run down, fade away, lose power
informal conk out, go kaput, give up the ghost, go phut
British informal pack up
2 informal Be very eager for something: they must be dying for a drink [with infinitive]: he’s dying to meet you
More example sentences
  • It is typical of Plazas's professionalism and realism that she is reluctant to advertise a wish list of roles she is dying to tackle.
  • I knew you were dying to ask me that important question.
  • Actually, I ran out to conduct a chair lift demonstration for our salesman M.K. and his buddies who were dying to see how the whole set-up worked.
be very eager, be very keen, be desperate, long, yearn, burn, ache, itch
informal have a yen, yen
2.1Used to emphasize how strongly one is affected by a particular feeling or emotion: only the thought of Matilda prevented him from dying of boredom we nearly died laughing when he told us
More example sentences
  • I had a look at the Gleaner's cartoon just now and I nearly died laughing!
  • I nearly died, as I thought it would be included in web diary but not so prominently.
  • I remember drinking with a friend who was wearing a Golden Bear polo shirt; well, I mean, I nearly died.
3 archaic Have an orgasm.


Middle English: from Old Norse deyja, of Germanic origin; related to dead.


die a (or the) death

British informal Come to an end; cease or fail to be popular or successful: the craze for cycling shorts is dying a death
More example sentences
  • He was wrong, of course, and others who followed in his wake have lived to see their own prophecies of a royal-free Britain dying the death.
  • One lawyer said: ‘He was a dreadful after-dinner speaker and he was dying a death when he started telling the joke.’
  • Our data shows that, far from dying a death, the package holiday is experiencing something of a renaissance.

die hard

Disappear or change very slowly: old habits die hard
More example sentences
  • Despite the bar on discrimination, old habits die hard and the Scheduled Castes are the hardest hit.
  • His adultery could be a constant, desperate search for love, or just an old habit that dies hard.
  • Despite the assurances given at that time, the state bureaucratic delays continue as if to prove the truth of the adage that old habits die hard.

die in bed

Undergo death from natural causes.
More example sentences
  • She concentrates on the legal and political aspects of Augustus' role in transforming the Roman Republic into an Empire, two important aspects of life when one remembers that Augustus had the rare honour of dying in bed.
  • While Charles II died in bed, his father had his head chopped off.
  • Even if he does die in bed rather than in a noose, his last day is not far off.

die in harness

Die before retirement.
More example sentences
  • Drummond wore himself out by work and died in harness.
  • The federation alleged that even the appointments were not made in those cases where the employee had died in harness.
  • Yes, he could have bowed out on top back in June last year and become the only PM other than Ming not to get the boot or die in harness.

die like flies

see fly2.

die on one's feet

informal Come to a sudden or premature end: critics said the show would die on its feet
More example sentences
  • Small shops are dying on their feet as a result of the anti-competitive practices of the big chains, such as running loss leaders.
  • ‘The players are dying on their feet out there and I had to make two substitutes before half-time,’ Dalziel said afterwards.
  • The simple fact of the matter is football clubs in the lower reaches of the game are dying on their feet with the demise of ITV Digital yet another nail in the coffin for many.

die on the vine

Be unsuccessful at an early stage.
More example sentences
  • It appears the economic fruit promised by Massachusetts politicians of every stripe is dying on the vine.
  • Any good idea put forward simply dies on the vine.
  • Neither his children nor V.J.'s wanted to take over the operation, so all those years of tradition died on the vine.

die with one's boots on

see boot1.

never say die

Used to encourage someone not to give up hope in a difficult situation.
More example sentences
  • Never say never, as the script writers for some James Bond movie once memorably remarked, and never say die, as someone else said.
  • In Trevor's case, and he had the biggest margin to make up, it was a case of slow and steady, head down tail up and never say die.
  • Remember, everyone, never say die, unless you're really serious about it!

to die for

informal Extremely good or desirable: the ice creams are to die for
More example sentences
  • The costumes were completely marvellous and the sets were to die for in their gorgeousness.
  • The songs merge a Gomez-like quirkiness, dreamy melodies and harmonies to die for.
  • You don't want a greasy kebab on a night out - you want proper paninis, amazing coffee and hot chocolate to die for.

Definition of die in:

There are 2 main definitions of die in English:


Line breaks: die
Pronunciation: /dʌɪ


1 singular form of dice.
More example sentences
  • Basically players each choose a team of 5 dice, and take turns throwing a die onto the table.
  • Each set replaces a single die in a normal (with the predator dice) game of Bongo.
  • To include only a single die in a game that required rolling two or three at the same time would be astounding.
2 (plural dies) A device for cutting or moulding metal into a particular shape.
More example sentences
  • In another metalworking arena, Fantesk may one day be used to lubricate dies, which shape sheet metal into objects such as automobile roofs.
  • In the sealing module, seal grids can be snapped in and out of the sealing-grid die to change the shape of the package seal.
  • It's fairly easy to grind metal out of a die, but putting it back in presents a real problem.
2.1An engraved device for stamping a design on coins or medals.
More example sentences
  • Then you hammer them; you put the die on a coin blank and hit it with a bloody big hammer to mould the impression into the metal.
  • Some years back, the first coins produced with new dies looked better than the ones produced later.
  • The pierced motifs were mechanically cut with a steel punch and the embossed decoration on the borders stamped out with steel dies.
3 Architecture The cubical part of a pedestal between the base and the cornice; a dado or plinth.


Middle English: from Old French de, from Latin datum 'something given or played', neuter past participle of dare.


In modern standard English, the singular die (rather than dice) is uncommon. Dice is used for both the singular and the plural.


the die is cast

An event has happened or a decision has been taken that cannot be changed.
More example sentences
  • When Julius Caesar paused to ponder the consequences of a military attack some 2000 years ago, his poetic adage was as fitting then as it is today: alea jacta est - the die is cast.
  • And so, the die is cast, we move out of here on the morning of March 30, motor up to the little house by the fenside, camp out overnight, just us, Harry and Dolly, two airbeds and a folding chair.
  • But now the die is cast, and said brutal dictators and corrupt monarchs no longer have the ability to stop the future.

(as) straight as a die

Absolutely straight.
More example sentences
  • This one was built straight as a die and it doesn't take a royal funeral to break out the bells.
  • The ball travelled as straight as a die and with tremendous speed to the back of the net.
  • It's rhythmic, uncluttered and straight as a die.
Entirely open and honest.

Definition of die in: