no dice

no dice

plural noun, singular die.

  1. small cubes of plastic, ivory, bone, or wood, marked on each side with one to six spots, usually used in pairs in games of chance or in gambling.
  2. poker dice.
  3. any of various games, especially gambling games, played by shaking and throwing from two to six dice or poker dice onto a flat surface.Compare craps.
  4. any small cubes.
  5. Auto Racing. a jockeying for lead position between two or more drivers in which tactics are used to pass or keep from being passed.

verb (used with object), diced, dic·ing.

  1. to cut into small cubes.
  2. to decorate with cubelike figures.
  3. to lose by gambling with dice (often followed by away).

verb (used without object), diced, dic·ing.

  1. to play at dice.
  2. to cause or bring about by gambling with dice.
  3. Auto Racing. to duel with another car or cars in a dice.


  1. no dice, Informal. of no use or help; ineffective.

pl n

  1. cubes of wood, plastic, etc, each of whose sides has a different number of spots (1 to 6), used in games of chance and in gambling to give random numbers
  2. Also called: die (functioning as singular) one of these cubes
  3. small cubes as of vegetables, chopped meat, etc
  4. no dice slang, mainly US and Canadian an expression of refusal or rejection


  1. to cut (food, etc) into small cubes
  2. (intr) to gamble with or play at a game involving dice
  3. (intr) to take a chance or risk (esp in the phrase dice with death)
  4. (tr) Australian informal to abandon or reject
  5. (tr) to decorate or mark with dicelike shapes

v.“to cut into cubes,” late 14c., from dice (n.). Meaning “to play at dice” is from early 15c. Related: Diced; dicing. n.early 14c., des, dys, plural of dy (see die (n.)), altered 14c. to dyse, dyce, and 15c. to dice. “As in pence, the plural s retains its original breath sound, probably because these words were not felt as ordinary plurals, but as collective words” [OED]. Sometimes used as singular 1400-1700. Also, no go; no soap. No, certainly not; also, impossible. For example, Anthony wanted to borrow my new coat, but Mom said no dice, or We tried to rent the church for the wedding, but it’s no go for the date you picked, or Jim asked Dad to help pay for the repairs, but Dad said no soap. All of these slangy expressions indicate refusal or an unsuccessful attempt. No dice, from the 1920s, alludes to an unlucky throw in gambling; no go, alluding to lack of progress, dates from about 1820; and no soap dates from about 1920 and possibly alludes to the phrase it won’t wash, meaning “it won’t find acceptance.” Also see nothing doing; won’t wash. see load the dice; no deal (dice).

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