die

Definitions

Cars & Driving

  • noun a tool for cutting shapes in metal, especially outside threads on pieces of round bar or similar.
  • noun a metal mould for casting

Construction

  • A tool for cutting threads on pipe and bolts.

Electronics

  • A piece of semiconductor material or dielectric upon which one or more electrical components may be mounted, etched, or formed. Used, for instance, for fabrication of repetitive units in semiconductor manufacturing. Its plural form is dice. Also called chip (2), or semiconductor die (1).
  • To cease functioning.
  • A tool, device, or mold which serves to impart a desired shape and/or finish to a molten or semisolid material. It may consist, for instance, of a mold into which a molten metal is forced.

Publishing

  • noun a matrix used for making a hot metal character
  • noun any metal stamp, used for cutting or stamping

Origin & History of “die”

English has two distinct words die. The noun, ‘cube marked with numbers’, is now more familiar in its plural form (see (dice)). The verb, ‘stop living’ (12th c.), was probably borrowed from Old Norse deyja ‘die’. this, like English dead and death, goes back ultimately to an Indo-European base *dheu-, which some have linked with Greek thánatos ‘dead’. It may seem strange at first sight that English should have borrowed a verb for such a basic concept as ‘dying’ (although some have speculated that a native Old English verb *dīegan or *dēgan did exist), but in fact it is a not uncommon phenomenon for ‘die’ verbs to change their meaning euphemistically, and therefore to need replacing by new verbs. In the case of the Old English verbs for ‘die’, steorfan survives as starve and sweltan in its derivative swelter, while cwelan is represented by the related cwellan ‘kill’, which has come down to us as quell.
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