\ˈdüs 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

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 Lastly, is the deuce of spaces higher than the Ace? Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Root’s Clapback Mailbag: It’s a Hard Job, but Someone Has to Do It," 25 May 2018 How the diaper might handle particularly soggy deuces is unclear, though. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Alphabet’s Verily has a “smart diaper“ design that distinguishes pee from poo," 17 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about deuce

Dictionary Entries near deuce






deuce court


Statistics for deuce

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for deuce

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for deuce



English Language Learners Definition of deuce

: 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

—used to make a question or statement more forceful

More from Merriam-Webster on deuce

See 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).


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!