\ ˈdüs How to pronounce deuce (audio) also ˈdyüs\

Definition of deuce

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the face of a die that bears two spots
(2) : a playing card bearing an index number two
b : a throw of the dice yielding two points
2 : a tie in tennis after each side has scored 40 requiring two consecutive points by one side to win

3 [ obsolete English deuce bad luck ]

a : devil, dickens used chiefly as a mild oath what the deuce is he up to now
b : something notable of its kind a deuce of a mess


deuced; deucing

Definition of deuce (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to bring the score of (a tennis game or set) to deuce

Examples of deuce in a Sentence


She beat her opponent after eight deuces.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At deuce in the ensuing game, a shower came, causing a delay of more than an hour. Howard Fendrich,, "Dominic Thiem ends Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam winning streak to reach French Open final," 8 June 2019 Nadal then saved three break points and navigated six deuces in the critical eighth game before holding to 5-3 with a running forehand winner down the line. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "On a Wild Day at Wimbledon, Federer Exits and Nadal Hangs On," 11 July 2018 This was high-decibel, high-stakes, high-quality tennis between two of the greats right from the get-go, beginning with an 18-point, six-deuce game that last 15 minutes and felt truly pivotal. Howard Fendrich,, "Novak Djokovic outlasts Rafael Nadal in five sets to reach fifth Wimbledon final," 14 July 2018 The Wimbledon men's singles final is back to deuce. Sam Farmer,, "Djokovic Wins Another Marathon, Defeating Nadal In Wimbledon Semifinal," 14 July 2018 Krasner showed himself to be a master poker player, winning a pot with a pair of deuces. Stu Bykofsky,, "Plea deal no bargain for cop killers | Stu Bykofsky," 25 June 2018 Of the remaining 44 cards, only one of the other three deuces could give him victory. The Economist, "In investing, as in poker, following rules works best," 31 May 2018 After Williams won a 21-shot rally to go up, 40-15, Kerber won the next point on a forehand winner and forced an error by Williams to get to deuce. New York Times, "Tennis Needs Serena Williams Back. But Does She Need to Be Seeded?," 28 May 2018 On Thursday, Poway High’s Deron Johnson was the right person in the right spot, singling hard through the right side on a deuces-wild pitch — two on, two outs, 2-2 count with No. John Maffei,, "Poway’s Deron III delivers, sending Titans to Open Division final," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Although the first three games went at least to deuce, Osuigwe quickly asserted command in going up a break. Craig Davis,, "Bradenton's Whitney Osuigwe dominates Orange Bowl tennis final, looks to pros," 11 Dec. 2017 Television broadcasts showed that Kerber’s shot had, in fact, landed out, which would have brought the score to deuce. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "Serena Williams Loses Bid for 23rd Major and Her No. 1 Ranking SEPT. 8, 2016," 8 Sep. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deuce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deuce


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for deuce


Middle English dewes, from Anglo-French deus two, from Latin duos, accusative masculine of duo two — more at two

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deuce court


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Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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The first known use of deuce was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of deuce

chiefly US, informal : a playing card that has the number two on it or two symbols on it
tennis : a situation in which each side has a score of 40
old-fashioned + informal used to make a question or statement more forceful

More from Merriam-Webster on deuce

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with deuce Encyclopedia article about deuce

Comments on deuce

What made you want to look up deuce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing courage and determination

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