Pronunciation Verb

die (dies, present participle dying; past and past participle died)

  1. (intransitive) To stop living; to become dead; to undergo death.
    1. followed by of; general use:
      He died of embarrassment.
      • 1839, Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Penguin 1985, page 87:
        "What did she die of, Work'us?" said Noah. "Of a broken heart, some of our old nurses told me," replied Oliver.
      • 2000, Stephen King, On Writing, Pocket Books 2002, page 85:
        In 1971 or 72, Mom's sister Carolyn Weimer died of breast cancer.
    2. followed by from; general use, though somewhat more common in the context of medicinetopics en or the sciencestopics en:
      He died from heart failure.
      • 1865, British Medical Journal, 4 Mar 1865, page 213:
        She lived several weeks; but afterwards she died from epilepsy, to which malady she had been previously subject.
      • 2007, Frank Herbert & Kevin J. Anderson, Sandworms of Dune, Tor 2007, page 191:
        "Or all of them will die from the plague. Even if most of the candidates succumb. . ."
    3. followed by for; often expressing wider contextual motivations, though sometimes indicating direct causes:
      He died for the one he loved.
      • 1961, Joseph Heller, Catch-22, Simon & Schuster 1999, page 232:
        Englishmen are dying for England, Americans are dying for America, Germans are dying for Germany, Russians are dying for Russia. There are now fifty or sixty countries fighting in this war.
      • 2003, Tara Herivel & Paul Wright (editors), Prison Nation, Routledge 2003, page 187:
        Less than three days later, Johnson lapsed into a coma in his jail cell and died for lack of insulin.
    4. (now, rare) followed by with as an indication of direct cause:
      • 1600, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, Scene I:
        Therefore let Benedicke like covered fire, / Consume away in sighes, waste inwardly: / It were a better death, to die with mockes, / Which is as bad as die with tickling.
      • 1830, Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, Richards 1854, page 337:
        And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year was very frequent in the land.
    5. (uncommon, nonstandard, outside, video games) followed by to as an indication of direct cause (like from):
      I can't believe I just died to a turret!
      • 2014, S. J. Groves, The Darker Side to Dr Carter, page 437:
        Dr Thomas concluded she had died to a blow to the head, which led to a bleed on the brain, probably a fall and had hit her head hard on the wooden bedpost, as there was blood on the bedpost.
    6. (still current) followed by with as an indication of manner:
      She died with dignity.
  2. (transitive) To (stop living and) undergo (a specified death).
    He died a hero's death.
    They died a thousand deaths.
    • 2019, Lou Marinoff, On Human Conflict: The Philosophical Foundations of War and Peace, Rowman & Littlefield (ISBN 9780761871064), page 452:
      […] he chose instead to suffer even greater personal pain, with unimaginable fortitude and resolve, albeit for a shorter time. Thus he died a small death, in order to benefit the living. Similarly, a small and voluntary death was died by Socrates.
  3. (intransitive, figuratively) To yearn intensely.
    I'm dying for a packet of crisps.
    I'm dying for a piss.
    • 1598, Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, Scene II:
      Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite of all, dies for him.
    • 2004 Paul Joseph Draus, Consumed in the city: observing tuberculosis at century's end - Page 168
      I could see that he was dying, dying for a cigarette, dying for a fix maybe, dying for a little bit of freedom, but trapped in a hospital bed and a sick body.
  4. (rare, intransitive) To be or become hated or utterly ignored or cut off, as if dead.
    The day our sister eloped, she died to our mother.
    • 2015, Emily Duvall, Inclusions, page 150:
      "My dad […] beat us until we couldn't sit down." […] "What about your mother?" […] "She's alive. […] My aunt visits her once a year, but I don't ask about my mother. She died to me the day she chose my father over protecting us." Luke's voice hitched with emotion.
    • 2017, Mike Hoornstra, Descent into the Maelstrom, page 366:
      "You haven't been my son since you were ten years old. That boy died to me the day he ran away. I don't know you. You are merely a shell that resembles someone I used to know, but you are dead to me. You are the bringer of pain and death. Leave me be. Leave me with my son, Jyosh." "Mother..." Barlun pleaded.
  5. (intransitive, figuratively) To become spiritually dead; to lose hope.
    He died a little inside each time she refused to speak to him.
  6. (intransitive, colloquial, hyperbolic) To be mortified or shocked by a situation.
    If anyone sees me wearing this ridiculous outfit, I'll die.
  7. (figurative, intransitive, hyperbolic) To be so overcome with emotion or laughter as to be incapacitated.
    When I found out my two favorite musicians would be recording an album together, I literally planned my own funeral arrangements and died.
    • 1976, an anchorman on Channel Five in California, quoted in Journal and Newsletter ↗ [of the] California Classical Association, Northern Section:
      I literally died when I saw that.
  8. (intransitive, of a, machine) To stop working, to break down.
    My car died in the middle of the freeway this morning.
  9. (intransitive, of a, computer program) To abort, to terminate (as an error condition).
  10. To perish; to cease to exist; to become lost or extinct.
    • letting the secret die within his own breast
    • 1847, Alfred Tennyson, The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, […], OCLC 2024748 ↗, (please specify ):
      Great deeds cannot die.
  11. To sink; to faint; to pine; to languish, with weakness, discouragement, love, etc.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 1 Samuel 15:37 ↗:
      His heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
  12. (often with "to") To become indifferent; to cease to be subject.
    to die to pleasure or to sin
  13. (architecture) To disappear gradually in another surface, as where mouldings are lost in a sloped or curved face.
  14. To become vapid, flat, or spiritless, as liquor.
  15. (of a stand-up comedian or a joke) To fail to evoke laughter from the audience.
    Then there was that time I died onstage in Montreal...
Synonyms Related terms Noun

die (plural dies)

  1. The cubical part of a pedestal; a plinth.
  2. A device for cutting into a specified shape.
  3. A device used to cut an external screw thread. (Internal screw threads are cut with a tap.)
  4. A mold for forming metal or plastic objects.
  5. An embossed device used in stamping coins and medals.
  6. (electronics) (plural also dice) An oblong chip fractured from a semiconductor wafer engineered to perform as an independent device or integrated circuit.
  7. Any small cubical or square body.
    • words […] pasted upon little flat tablets or dies

die (plural dice)

  1. A regular polyhedron, usually a cube, with numbers or symbols on each side and used in games of chance.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiry concerning the human understanding. In: Wikisource. Wikimedia: 2007. § 46.
      If a die were marked with one figure or number of spots on four sides, and with another figure or number of spots on the two remaining sides, it would be more probable, that the former would turn up than the latter;
  2. (obsolete) That which is, or might be, determined, by a throw of the die; hazard; chance.
    • Such is the die of war.
  3. (electronics) (plural also dies) An oblong chip fractured from a semiconductor wafer engineered to perform as an independent device or integrated circuit.
  • cube of chance
  • cube of fortune

die (plural dies)

  1. Obsolete spelling of dye#English|dye
  1. Obsolete spelling of dye#English|dye
    • 1739, John Cay, An abridgment of the publick statutes in force and use from Magna Charta, in the ninth year of King Henry III, to the eleventh year of his present Majesty King George II, inclusive, Drapery, XXVII. Sect. 16:
      Also no dyer shall die any cloth, except he die the cloth and the list with one colour, without tacking any bulrushes or such like thing upon the lists, upon pain to forfeit 40 s. for every cloth. And no person shall put to sale any cloth deceitfully dyed,

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