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

  • n. Games Double aces.
  • n. Bad luck; misfortune.
  • n. The smallest amount possible or the most worthless thing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Two ones; the lowest throw at dice; a pair of aces.
  • n. Bad luck, worthlessness.


Middle English ambes as, from Old French : Latin ambās, feminine accusative pl. of ambō, both + as, unit.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French ambes + as, from Latin ambo + as. (Wiktionary)


  • Aeschylus, it seems to me, is willing, just as Shakespeare is, to risk the prosperity of a verse upon a lucky throw of words, which may come up the sices of hardy metaphor or the ambsace of conceit.

    Among My Books First Series


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  • Stern Ernest has put on his game face,
    Determined to hasten this tame pace.
    His well comes up dry,
    He gets scant reply.
    His queries produce only ambsace.

    Find out more about Ernest Bafflewit

    October 30, 2014

  • bad luck, worthlessness, a pair of aces on dice, snake eyes.

    April 14, 2008