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Is Dice Singular or Plural?

Dice are small cubes with six sides. Each side has between one and six dots on it. They are used in many gambling and casino games. Players toss or roll dice and then add up the numbers on the dice according to the rules of the game.

Dice is already a plural word. The singular of dice is die. Die comes from the French word des, which refers to the same objects. Usually, in English, we would add s to the word to make it plural. But, if we did that with die then it would become dies. And that would be confusing! 

So, dice is the irregular plural of die. Dice refers to two or more game pieces, but a die is only one piece. However, it is fairly common to refer to one die as “a dice” in print. 

This is because dice are usually used in pairs anyway, so many people don’t know there’s a different word for the singular. In addition, some sources, like the Oxford Dictionary, lists dice as an acceptable singular and plural form of die. So, dice can be either singular or plural.

There are a lot of idioms that include die or dice. For example:

No dice! (This means that something is impossible.) 

The die is cast. (This refers to a situation that cannot be altered or prevented.)

The dice are loaded. (Loading dice involves tampering with them to increase your chances of winning. So, this idiom refers to trying to secure a certain outcome.)

The dice are loaded against him. (This means that it seems like everything is against him.)

Related: For more idioms and common expressions, check out this section here!

In conclusion, a die is one game piece. Technically, dice are two or more game pieces. However, dice is sometimes used as a singular, too. 

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By Patrice Riley

Patrice Riley is the pen name of Dr. Deborah Riley. She is a retired English professor that enjoys grammar, literature, and all things writing.

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