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See also: Rubicon




From the phrase cross the Rubicon (to make an irreversible decision or to take an action with consequences). Julius Caesar’s crossing of the Rubicon, a small river in northeastern Italy, on 10 January 49 B.C.E., indicated his intention to start a civil war with Pompey. Rubicon is derived from Latin Rubicō, Rubicōn (the Rubicon),[1] possibly from rubeus (red, reddish), from rubeō (to be red), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁rewdʰ- (red), an allusion to the colour of the river caused by mud deposits.

The verb is derived from the noun.[2]



rubicon (plural rubicons)

  1. A limit that when exceeded, or an action that when taken, cannot be reversed.
    Synonym: point of no return
  2. (card games) Especially in bezique and piquet: a score which, if not achieved by a losing player, increases the player's penalty.

Alternative formsEdit

Related termsEdit



rubicon (third-person singular simple present rubicons, present participle rubiconing, simple past and past participle rubiconed)

  1. (transitive, card games) Especially in bezique and piquet: to defeat a player who has not achieved the rubicon.



  1. ^ Rubicon, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, March 2011; “rubicon” (US) / “rubicon” (UK) in Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ rubicon, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford: Oxford University Press, March 2011.

Further readingEdit