cross the Rubicon

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Refers to Julius Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon River to wage civil war with Rome, on January 10, 49 BC, in violation of law. Suetonius' use of the phrase the die is cast in describing this act popularised the use of that phrase, which was first attributed to the Greek dramatist Menander.


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cross the Rubicon (third-person singular simple present crosses the Rubicon, present participle crossing the Rubicon, simple past and past participle crossed the Rubicon)

  1. (idiomatic) To make an irreversible decision or to take an action with consequences.
    He knew that by coming out to his family he would be crossing the Rubicon but he could not live a lie anymore.
    • 2019 August 16, Bonnie Girard, Battle-Ready: The PLA’s Hong Kong Garrison[1], The Diplomat:
      Will China cross the Rubicon by sending its military to Hong Kong?

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