Definition of teetotum in English:

teetotum

Line breaks: tee|totum
Pronunciation: /tiːˈtəʊtəm
 
/

noun

A small spinning top spun with the fingers, especially one with four sides lettered to determine whether the spinner has won or lost.
More example sentences
  • Another guest describes a patient who thought he was a spinning top, or teetotum, and liked to spin around, at which the guest prepares to demonstrate before being interrupted by another table guest who whispers into his ear.
  • However, variations of the game were invented when teetotums developed a body in the shape of a cube.
  • A six-sided teetotum or die and a playing piece of a different color for each player, are also needed.

Origin

early 18th century (as T totum): from T (representing totum, inscribed on the side of the toy) + Latin totum 'the whole' (stake). The letters on the sides (representing Latin words) were T (= totum), A (= auferre 'take away'), D (= deponere 'put down'), and N (= nihil 'nothing').

Definition of teetotum in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day anomalous
Pronunciation: əˈnɒm(ə)ləs
adjective
deviating from what is standard, normal, or expected