plural dice: a small cube marked on each face with from one to six spots and used usually in pairs in various games and in gambling by being shaken and thrown to come to rest at random on a flat surface —often used figuratively in expressions concerning chance or the irrevocability of a course of action <the die was cast>
plural dies: any of various tools or devices for imparting a desired shape, form, or finish to a material or for impressing an object or material: as
a (1): the larger of a pair of cutting or shaping tools that when moved toward each other produce a desired form in or impress a desired device on an object by pressure or by a blow (2): a device composed of a pair of such tools
b: a hollow internally threaded screw-cutting tool used for forming screw threads
c: a mold into which molten metal or other material is forced
d: a perforated block through which metal or plastic is drawn or extruded for shaping
Tool or device for imparting a desired shape, form, or finish to a material. Examples include a perforated block through which metal or plastic is drawn or extruded, the hardened steel forms for producing the patterns on coins and medals by pressure, and the hollow molds into which metal or plastic is forced. Modern tools and dies can be traced to the work of Honoré Blanc at the Saint-Étienne armoury in France beginning in 1780. Blanc's techniques were adopted and enlarged in the U.S. by Eli Whitney and others, who used templates (tool-guiding patterns) and fixturesthe antecedents of today's tools and diesto mass-produce firearms for the U.S. Army (seearmoury practice). Today the demand for dies used in metal forming, die casting, and plastic molding is filled by tool- and die-making shops.