noun Etymology: 1tee + Latin totum all, from neuter of totus whole; from the letter T inscribed on one side as an abbreviation of totum (take) all Date: 1720 a small top usually inscribed with letters and used in put-and-take

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Teetotum — Tee*to tum, n. [For T totum. It was used for playing games of chance, and was four sided, one side having the letter T on it, standing for Latin totum all, meaning, take all that is staked, whence the name. The other three sides each had a letter …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • teetotum — [tē tōt′əm] n. [earlier T totum < the T (for totum) marked on one side + totum, the name of the toy < L totum, neut. of totus (see TOTAL): the four sides were orig. marked T ( totum, all) A ( aufer, take), D ( depone, put), N ( nihil,… …   English World dictionary

  • Teetotum — Pieter Brueghel s Children s Games (1560)A teetotum is a form of gambling top. It has a polygonal body marked with letters or numbers, which indicate the result of each spin. In its earliest form the body was square (in some cases via a stick… …   Wikipedia

  • teetotum — /tee toh teuhm/, n. 1. any small top spun with the fingers. 2. a kind of die having four sides, each marked with a different initial letter, spun with the fingers in an old game of chance. [1710 20; earlier T totum, alter. of totum name of toy (… …   Universalium

  • teetotum — noun A toy (top) similar to a dreidel …   Wiktionary

  • teetotum — [ti: təʊtəm] noun a small spinning top spun with the fingers, especially one with four sides lettered to determine whether the spinner has won or lost. Origin C18 (as T totum): from T (representing totum, inscribed on one side of the toy) + L.… …   English new terms dictionary

  • teetotum — tee·to·tum …   English syllables

  • teetotum — tee•to•tum [[t]tiˈtoʊ təm[/t]] n. gam a small top spun with the fingers, esp. one with four sides inscribed with letters • Etymology: 1710–20; earlier T totum, alter. of totum name of toy (< L tōtum, neut. of tōtus all) by prefixing its… …   From formal English to slang

  • teetotum — /tiˈtoʊtəm/ (say tee tohtuhm) noun 1. Obsolete a small four sided disc or die with an initial letter on each of its sides, designed to be spun on a spindle, the letter which is uppermost on the fallen die determining the winner. 2. any small top… …   Australian English dictionary

  • teetotum — n. 1 a spinning top with four sides lettered to determine whether the spinner has won or lost. 2 any top spun with the fingers. Etymology: T (the letter on one side) + L totum the whole (stakes), for which T stood …   Useful english dictionary

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