Definition of dime in US English:

dime

noun

North American
  • 1A ten-cent coin.

    • ‘Here we have ten coins: pennies, nickels, and dimes.’
    • ‘She began digging through her cracked plastic coin purse, slapping quarters and dimes on the counter.’
    • ‘My son collects my change - the random coins that come from little daily transactions, the pennies, nickels and dimes that build up in my pockets.’
    • ‘You have five quarters, two nickels, three dimes and a penny in your pocket.’
    • ‘Now bring something else to the community or stop asking us to spend our hard earned pennies, nickels and dimes to buy this type of trash.’
    • ‘I supposed it was good that he'd paid because I only had a loonie and a dime in my pocket.’
    • ‘Using the same group of coins, help your child make a pile of pennies to equal a nickel, nickels to equal a dime, and so on.’
    • ‘She's more fond of pennies and dimes than quarters.’
    • ‘Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters were carefully counted.’
    • ‘And then she came and sat with me, next to a reflection pool that had been emptied of water, but whose cement floor was scattered with pennies and dimes turned blue from chlorine.’
    • ‘Then try alternating pennies and dimes and see what happens.’
    • ‘Staring down into it you could see the shiny bronze pennies and silver dimes lying at the bottom.’
    • ‘It has separate pouches for pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters.’
    • ‘People often count change by grouping pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, a tendency indicating that, without practice, working memory can deal with only one item at a time.’
    • ‘The first day he had poured out his accumulated pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters onto the table in front of his sister, his face had beamed with pride at his contribution.’
    • ‘Instead of replacing the popular dime with another coin, it's also possible to see whether the addition of a fifth coin would help.’
    • ‘Suddenly, the nickels, dimes, pennies, and quarters started flying.’
    • ‘The woman's face fell as Anne counted out exact change from her mass of nickels, dimes, pennies, and quarters.’
    • ‘If Jimmy saves 4 dimes in his piggy bank every day, how many dimes will he save in five days?’
    • ‘For the change-making task, three quarters, seven dimes, and seven nickels are placed in front of the patient, who then is asked to provide one dollar in change.’
    1. 1.1informal A small amount of money.
      ‘he didn't have a dime’
      • ‘The hub deal especially contrasts with the down-and-dirty business of having to bet a billion dollars on a vehicle program that may never produce a dime of profits.’
      • ‘Any money goes to people who previously bought the stock for pennies; the company doesn't get a dime.’
      • ‘I'm an outsider, un-American for not contributing a dime to the $40-billion-a-year diet industry.’
      • ‘The vast majority of dot-coms will never see a dime of profits.’
      • ‘After all, no matter who goes first overall or who slides into the second half of the first round, you're not going to see a dime of that money, and neither am I.’
      • ‘They hardly spent a dime, whereas I spent money so fast, I almost ran out of credit cards.’
      • ‘Inspectors have the right to pop any locks (and you won't get a dime in compensation; they're allowed to do it by law).’
      • ‘The two things people need to keep in mind is that we are talking small amounts of money and you cannot afford to lose a dime.’
      • ‘He figured that he might as well live till the whole sham is over, this way he won't have to spend a dime of his new found, hard earned money.’
      • ‘Without a dime of government money we are turning thousands of people per month into independent homeowners.’
      • ‘The exact economics may be beyond me, but I suspect neither one of us will be saving a dime on this tax cut.’
      • ‘But its minority investors never saw a dime in profit.’
      • ‘He stops speaking to May and refuses to contribute a dime to her education.’
      • ‘Sure, he got his contingency fee, but the families wouldn't have gotten a dime without his help, and in many cases, they would need millions to care for their chronically ill children.’
      • ‘Not a dime of the money stays where it nominally is.’
      • ‘Why did so many investors put so much money behind so many companies that had never made a dime?’
      • ‘That's a lot of loot for a pair of companies that have yet to make a dime in profits.’
      • ‘‘This has been a large front-end expenditure for us before we even see a dime of revenues from the settlement,’ he says.’
      • ‘We bought our house by borrowing $100,000 from his parents' retirement fund and have not paid back a dime - another nightmare.’
      • ‘Even if you never spend a dime of the reserve, the tax savings on your contributions ensure you'll be no worse off than if you hadn't enrolled.’
    2. 1.2informal
      short for dime bag

Phrases

  • a dime a dozen

    • informal Very common and of no particular value.

      ‘experts in this field are a dime a dozen’
      • ‘Now they are a dime a dozen - available at malls and departmental grocery shops, with prices ranging from Rs 100 onwards for miniature versions.’
      • ‘But the passion of idiot youth will have it's way, and such scenes are a dime a dozen; I was prepared to ignore it for the duration.’
      • ‘Then, while planning his career, he decided upon fitness training because engineers were a dime a dozen.’
      • ‘Tales like these are a dime a dozen, and all have one thing in common: I don't want to hear them.’
      • ‘Opinions of the economy's fate are a dime a dozen.’
      • ‘Enablers are a dime a dozen for alcoholics and junkies.’
      • ‘His kind are now a dime a dozen in our legislatures.’
      • ‘Ideas are a dime a dozen, but great execution is priceless.’
      • ‘If they weren't so hard to come by, they'd be a dime a dozen.’
      • ‘Handsome, dedicated and dangerous young men were a dime a dozen in Ireland, and his frequently dismissive treatment of women didn't help.’
      tedious, dull, monotonous
      View synonyms
  • drop a (or the) dime on someone

    • informal Inform on someone.

      • ‘I believe that he is one of the senior administration officials who dropped the dime on her.’
      • ‘What will ultimately happen to the teenage high school student is still up in the air, but the fact of the matter is that he confessed to the crime after being turned in, and those who dropped dime on him did so for the reward money.’
      • ‘We also wish to thank the kindred spirit who dropped the dime on him.’
      • ‘He would eventually hit the 619 out of no where, then dropped the dime on him for the pinfall victory.’
      • ‘Even if they didn't reveal your identities up front, once the substance of the complaint becomes clear, he is bound to know who dropped the dime on him.’
      inform, inform on someone, tell tales, tell tales on someone
      View synonyms
  • get off the dime

    • informal Be decisive and show initiative.

      ‘at some point you have to get off the dime and do something’
      • ‘One more thing, there was a poll, I can't remember - and I don't think we ought to do this by polls, but 71 percent of the American people say get off the dime.’
      • ‘I really think we're going to be getting off the dime here.’
      • ‘Corporate backers of privatization are urging the Administration to get off the dime.’
      • ‘Apparently wracked with indecision, the Supreme Judicial Court needs to get off the dime and render a verdict in same-sex marriage in the commonwealth.’
      • ‘There's just no reason for people to really get off the dime and start doing heavy business spending just now.’
      • ‘I wish people would understand that, and I wish this jury would really get off the dime and start deliberating a little more conscientiously and get this thing finished with.’
      • ‘Tell him that whenever he feels like getting off the dime, you will be more than happy to discuss the new developments - and maybe a new name.’
      • ‘My generation learned that if we wanted to accomplish anything, we would have to get off the dime.’
      • ‘I am not getting any younger, and I need to move on if he's never going to get off the dime.’
      • ‘I share a lot of the criticism for the police, I think they were very slow in getting off the dime.’
  • on a dime

    • informal Used to refer to a maneuver that can be performed by a moving vehicle or person within a small area or short distance.

      ‘boats that can turn on a dime’
      • ‘The last couple of years has seen the series shift to arcade-style action, but the new momentum-based skating could spell an end to skaters stopping and turning on a dime.’
      • ‘Yes, I know a 60-year-old approach to foreign policy can't turn on a dime.’
      • ‘Yes, you've got to hand it to these guys - they can turn on a dime.’
      • ‘The Fed Chairman, of course, turned his fiscal rectitude on a dime as soon as the Republicans regained control of the Treasury.’
      • ‘Well, you know, this investigation has turned on a dime.’
      • ‘Like a battleship, book publishing doesn't turn on a dime, so the old year's trends don't usually determine a new year's books.’
      • ‘He runs beautiful, precision short routes and can cut on a dime.’
      • ‘You have to be able to turn on a dime when something's not working.’
      • ‘He has one of those riding mowers that turns on a dime.’
      • ‘I don't know what happened first, the insult or the swing, but months of training now meant that I could spin on a dime and hit a ball across an ocean if I had to.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French disme, from Latin decima pars ‘tenth part’. The word originally denoted a tithe or tenth part; the modern sense ‘ten cent coin’ dates from the late 18th century.

Pronunciation

dime

/daɪm//dīm/