Definition of dibs in English:


plural noun

  • 1usually in phrase have first dibsThe right to share or choose something.

    • ‘She can't have first dibs; he's a person not a pet.’
    • ‘The trouble for equity investors is that the debtholders have first dibs over the initial £2.9b of any valuation, and possibly even more than that as Marconi will need to retain some of its cash for working capital purposes.’
    • ‘Your mother had first dibs, and she wanted the bottom.’
    • ‘The wait list service would let people sign up to register a domain that was already registered, so that they would have first dibs in the event that it ever becomes unregistered.’
    • ‘We fought over who was going to New York to marry Mark Ruffalo, but Tash said she had first dibs.’
    • ‘Because I figured that you met him first so you have first dibs, but since you don't like him in that way you'll have no problem with me getting him to go out with me, will you?’
    • ‘When I came into this House in 1990 - Labour had just been in Government for 6 years and had done nothing - a major company in Porirua went into receivership, and the Inland Revenue Department came in and had first dibs.’
    • ‘But it wasn't about rescuing an animal, it was just the way to continue the friendship, and I'm glad that Rex Petersen said I could have first dibs at TJ.’
    • ‘I thought I should have first dibs since I live with him, but Shelly decided that was an unfair advantage, and it tumbled down hill from there.’
    • ‘They have only ever asked for the right of first refusal - that they have first dibs at renewal if they have been good tenants.’
    • ‘I believe that probably Silverstein's proposal - and he has first dibs, as it were, because he leased the buildings - of four buildings making up the same amount of space is probably what will happen.’
    • ‘‘Well, Joss might let you fly her, but I think Neana has first dibs,’ Keegan said with a smile.’
    • ‘Shortly before she and Tony married in 2002, the home's then-owners - good friends of the couple - announced they were moving and wanted Liz and Tony to have first dibs.’
  • 2dated Money.

    • ‘Well, Artsfans, no longer will you have to schlepp down to Churchill Square or crook your dialing finger to lay dibs on tickets to that exquisite cultural event.’
    • ‘On the off chance that they did, I'd like to remind them that I've got dibs on Attenborough and Harris.’
    • ‘My dibs are on him being some lame ABC type.’
    cash, hard cash, ready money
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century (denoting pebbles used in a children's game): from earlier dib-stones, perhaps from dib.