(photo by Ross Websdale)
Noun. Middle English.
[Old & modern French dés. See DIE noun.]
1 Plural of die. ME
2 A game or games played with dice. ME
(photo by Kolby)
Noun. Plural in Branch I dice; in Brack II dies.
[Old & modern French dé, plural dés, from Latin DATUM.]
1(a) A small cube whose six faces are marked with from one to six spots,
used in games of chance by being thrown from a box, the hand, etc.,
the score being decided from the uppermost face;
a cube with different markings, or a solid with a different number of faces, used in the same way. ME
1(b) figurative. Chance, luck. L16
2 A small cubical segment, especially of meat, etc. for cooking. Usually in plural. LME
3 A cubical block. M17
4 An engraved stamp for impressing a design on some softer material
as in coining, striking a medal, embossing paper, etc. L17
5 Any of various devices for shaping bulk material, especially:
(a) an internally threaded hollow tool for cutting a screw thread;
(b) a part into which a punch is driven;
(c) a block with a hold through which material is extruded;
(d) a hollow mould into which material is forced prior to solidification. E19
6 A toy. Scottish. E19
(though I still feel a bit guilty about this)
I seem to like dice, having previously used them to illustrate the words bone, cleromancy and determinism on this blog. I also remember the exact moment that I learnt the proper singular noun is die, so I would like to thank Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone for their book Scorpion Swamp (which I wasn't allowed to read), and their proper use of die and dice. And yes, I do know that most people just use dice, and I know that when I use die it sounds irrevocably pretentious. But it is die. Look, it says it right there in the OED. It's one die; two dice. So there.
Do please roll out your most cubical comments in the box below.