from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small rectangular wood or plastic block, the face of which is divided into halves, each half being blank or marked by dots resembling those on dice.
  • n. A game played with a set of these small blocks, generally 28 in number.
  • n. A country expected to react politically to events as predicted by the domino theory: "The dominos did indeed fall in Indochina” ( Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
  • n. A costume consisting of a hooded robe worn with an eye mask at a masquerade.
  • n. The mask so worn.
  • n. One wearing this costume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tile divided into two squares, each having 0 to 6 dots or pips (as in dice), used in the game of dominoes.
  • n. A country that is expected to react to events in a neighboring country, according to the domino effect
  • n. A masquerade costume consisting of a hooded robe and a mask covering the upper part of the face.
  • n. The mask itself.
  • n. The person wearing the costume.
  • n. A polyomino made up of two squares.
  • v. To collapse in the manner of dominoes.
  • v. To cause to collapse in the manner of dominoes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of hood worn by the canons of a cathedral church; a sort of amice.
  • n. A mourning veil formerly worn by women.
  • n. A kind of mask; particularly, a half mask worn at masquerades, to conceal the upper part of the face. Dominos were formerly worn by ladies in traveling.
  • n. A costume worn as a disguise at masquerades, consisting of a robe with a hood adjustable at pleasure.
  • n. A person wearing a domino.
  • n. A game played by two or more persons, with twenty-eight pieces of wood, bone, or ivory, of a flat, oblong shape, plain at the back, but on the face divided by a line in the middle, and either left blank or variously dotted after the manner of dice. The game is played by matching the spots or the blank of an unmatched half of a domino already played.
  • n. One of the pieces with which the game of dominoes is played.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ecclesiastical garment worn over other vestments in cold weather, made loose, and furnished with a hood.
  • n. By restriction, the hood alone.
  • n. A garment made in partial imitation of that described in def. , and used at masked balls. It is usually made of thin silk, loose, and with large sleeves and a hood.
  • n. A person wearing a domino.
  • n. A half-mask formerly worn over the face by ladies when traveling, at masquerades, etc., as a partial disguise for the features.
  • n. One of the pieces with which the game of dominoes is played. See def. 6.
  • n. plural A game regularly played with twenty-eight flat oblong pieces of ivory, bone, or wood, usually black on one side, the back, and white on the other, the face, the latter being divided into two parts by a cross-line.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a loose hooded cloak worn with a half mask as part of a masquerade costume
  • n. a mask covering the upper part of the face but with holes for the eyes
  • n. United States rhythm and blues pianist and singer and composer (born in 1928)
  • n. a small rectangular block used in playing the game of dominoes; the face of each block has two equal areas that can bear 0 to 6 dots


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, probably from domino, mask, perhaps because of the resemblance between the eyeholes and the spots on some of the tiles; see domino2.
French, probably from Latin (benedīcāmus) dominō, (let us praise) the Lord, dative of dominus, lord; see dem- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French domino (1801), from Medieval Latin domino, from Latin dominus ("lord, master"); compare Medieval Latin dominicale ("a kind of veil"). The game is said to be so called from the black under surface or part of the pieces with which it is played.


  • Cummings took advantage of what she called a domino effect.


  • George Foster was monkshood, a cambric robe -- a "domino" -- serving to give the blue color note, and a very correct imitation of the flower's helmet answering the purpose of a head-dress.

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  • One of those errors involved recreating the so-called domino theory -- the idea that the U.S. had to make a stand in Vietnam, or else Indonesia, Thailand, Burma and the rest of Asia, if not the world, would fall to communism.

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  • The Korean War was supposed to have drawn a line on the sand for the Chinese and Russians, but I am not so sure; ditto, Vietnam was justified by the so-called domino theory but this did not turn out to be the case when the Yanks departed - and look at the cost.

    Giving evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Tony Blair said: “I...

  • It was too bad she had to wear a domino that partially shaded her eyes, but as masks went, the domino was the narrowest of the three styles, covering just her eyes, and hers was rather fancy with the opening for her eyes rimmed in sparkling gems.

    Johanna Lindsey

  • Goldstein explained that Johnson had bumbled into war without understanding the true nature and ambitions of the communist insurgency in Asia and the fallacy of the so-called domino theory.


  • Reply: I would just point out Steve that Eisenhower started that ball rolling with the so called domino theory canard.

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  • He finally talked about how he felt he had been wrong about the so-called domino theory, that one had to fight communism across Southeast Asia, or the entire region would fall.

    CNN Transcript Jul 6, 2009

  • This overwhelming majority espouses something called the domino theory, which posits that if South Vietnam falls to communist rebels — those who would unite the country with communist North Vietnam — then all the non-communist nations of southeast Asia will fall to Marxist ideology — like dominos on end, lined up on a table, when one tips over.

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  • Indeed, some chains, known as domino chains, do end when the final donor's kidney goes to a patient on the list.

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  • Found in Merriam Webster's Dictionary pg 24

    November 15, 2010