1. a cupronickel-clad coin of the U.S. and Canada, the 10th part of a dollar, equal to 10 cents.
  2. Slang.
    1. ten dollars.
    2. a 10-year prison sentence.
    3. dime bag.
  1. a dime a dozen, Informal. so abundant that the value has decreased; readily available.


  1. a coin of the US and Canada, worth one tenth of a dollar or ten cents
  2. a dime a dozen very cheap or common

chosen 1786 as name for U.S. 10 cent coin, from dime “a tenth, tithe” (late 14c.), from Old French disme (Modern French dîme) “a tenth part,” from Latin decima (pars) “tenth (part),” from decem “ten” (see ten).

The verb meaning “to inform” (on someone) is 1960s, from the then-cost of a pay phone call. A dime a dozen “almost worthless” first recorded 1930. Phrase stop on a dime attested by 1954 (a dime being the physically smallest unit of U.S. currency).

In addition to the idiom beginning with dime

  • dime a dozen

also see:

  • drop a dime
  • get off the dime
  • not worth a dime

on a dime.

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