Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
1. Literally, dice that have each been weighted to one side so as to increase the odds of their landing on the opposite number. When they found out we'd been using loaded dice, they threw us out of the club and told us to never come back.
2. By extension, a means of gaining an advantage through the exploitation or manipulation of rules or regulations. At the height of the economic boom, investment bankers were using sub-prime mortgages with falsified credit ratings as loaded dice to make as much money as possible.
roll the dice
1. Literally, to roll dice, as for or in a game of chance. I'm usually not much of a gambler, but I couldn't resist heading to the craps table to roll the dice!
2. By extension, to take some risk on the hope or chance of a fortunate outcome. Look, worst case scenario is that we get hit with a fine, so I say we just roll the dice and hope it doesn't come to that.
play with loaded dice
1. Literally, to use dice that have been weighted to one side so as to increase the odds of their landing on the opposite number. When they found out we'd been playing with loaded dice, they threw us out of the club and told us to never come back.
2. By extension, to gain an advantage through the exploitation or manipulation of rules or regulations. At the height of the economic boom, investment bankers were playing with loaded dice by using sub-prime mortgages with falsified credit ratings to make as much money as possible.
dice with death
To do something very risky or dangerous. Of course he's taking out his motorcycle in the pouring rain—he's always dicing with death.
the dice are loaded against (one)
A positive outcome for one is unlikely due to circumstances perceived as unfortunate or unlucky. I have a record, so when it comes to finding employment, the dice are loaded against me.
No luck; no chance; certainly not. Often said as a response indicating a total refusal or rejection. I tried swapping out the carburetor, but no dice. A: "Would you help me wash the dishes?" B: "Sorry, no dice. I've got somewhere I need to be."
load the dice (against one)
To rig something so that the outcome is predetermined to put one at a disadvantage. It's the first democratic election in the region in over 50 years, but it's all a sham—the military has loaded the dice so that they'll remain in power. It's no use trying to get justice against a company that big. They have so much power and influence that they've already loaded the dice against you.
the dice are loaded
A positive outcome is unlikely due to circumstances perceived as unfortunate or unlucky. I have a record, so when it comes to finding employment, the dice are loaded.
Inf. no; not possible. When I asked about a loan, he said, "No dice." No. It can't be done, no dice.
dice are loaded, the
see under load the dice.
See also: dice
load the dice
Rig the odds so there is little chance for another person to win; cheat. For example, There's no way we can win this contest; they've loaded the dice. This expression is also put as the dice are loaded, as in There's no point in trying; the dice are loaded. This expression alludes to adding weight to one side or another of dice so that they will always come up with certain numbers facing upward. [Late 1800s]
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.
dice with deathBRITISH
If someone dices with death, they take risks that put their lives in danger. Fishermen are constantly dicing with death. I dice with death almost every night crossing the road outside Maidstone Barracks station. Note: To dice means to play dice, or to gamble.
the dice is loaded against someoneor
the dice are loaded against someone
If the dice is loaded against you or the dice are loaded against you, you are in a situation where things have been arranged to cause a disadvantage for you. I had survived that night on the mountain when all the dice were loaded against me. Note: You can also say that the dice is loaded in your favour or the dice are loaded in your favour if you are in a situation where things have been arranged to cause an advantage for you. Insist on your rights. The dice are loaded in your favour — after all, you are the one with the money. Note: Players who wanted to cheat at dice games sometimes `loaded' or weighted the dice so that they tended to fall in a particular way.
1. If you are trying to achieve something and you say there's no dice, you mean that you are having no success with it. I tried calling her and I tried one or two of her old friends in Hampstead, but there was no dice. I was hoping he'd offer me a ride in his hot-air balloon, but no dice.
2. If someone asks you for something and you reply no dice, you are refusing to do what they ask. Nope, sorry, we're not interested, no dice. Note: This expression comes from the game of craps (= a game that uses dice), and means that the player's last throw is not counted.
dice with deathtake serious risks.
Dice with is used here in the general sense of ‘play a game of chance with’. In the mid 20th century dice with death was a journalistic cliché used to convey the risks taken by racing drivers; the expression seems for some time to have been especially connected with motoring, although it is now used of other risky activities. It gave rise to the use of dicing as a slang word among drivers for ‘driving in a race’, and it can be compared with dicey meaning ‘dangerous’, a word which originated in 1950s air-force slang.
no diceused to refuse a request or indicate that there is no chance of success. North American informal
1990 Paul Auster The Music of Chance Sorry kid. No dice. You can talk yourself blue in the face, but I'm not going.
load the dice against (or in favour of) someoneput someone at a disadvantage (or advantage).
1995 Maclean's What global warming has done is load the dice in favor of warmer-than-normal seasons and extreme climatic events.
the ˌdice are loaded aˈgainst somebodya person has little chance of succeeding in something, perhaps for unfair reasons: If you apply for a job when you’re over 40, the dice are loaded against you.This phrase refers to putting a piece of lead (= a heavy metal) inside a dice so that it always falls in a particular way.
ˌdice with ˈdeath(informal) risk your life by doing something very dangerous: Racing drivers dice with death every time they race.
Dice means play dice or gamble.
no ˈdice(spoken, especially American English) used to show that you refuse to do something or that something cannot be done: ‘Did you get that job?’ ‘No dice.’When you throw dice in a game, if they do not fall flat or they land on top of each other, the throw is invalid and considered no dice.
interj. no; not possible. When I asked about a loan, he said, No dice.
load the dice
1. To make an outcome highly probable; predetermine a result: "These factors merely load the dice, upping the odds that a household will fall into a certain ... income distribution" (Thomas G. Exter).
2. To put another at a distinct disadvantage, as through prior maneuver: The dice were loaded against the defendant before the trial.
1. Of no use; futile.
2. Used as a refusal to a request.
Nothing doing; useless and ineffective. A twentieth-century American colloquialism, this term clearly comes from gambling, but its precise origin is obscure. Presumably it meant that without dice one couldn’t have a game. It appears in print in several popular novels of the early 1940s, including A. Marshall’s Some Like It Hot (1941), which became a very successful motion picture (“No dice. I’ll get along in my own piddling fashion”). See also no way.
An absolute refusal. According to one explanation, courts would not convict gamblers at illegal craps games unless they were caught with dice (swallowing the evidence was not an uncommon way to get rid of it). “No dice, no conviction” was the watchword that referred to that refusal to convict.