# Dominoes and the Word “Domino”

A domino is a small rectangular piece of wood or plastic, the face of which is divided into two squares by a ridge, and either blank or marked with an arrangement of dots similar to those used on dice. Dominoes are used in a variety of games in which they are stacked end to end in long lines and then tipped so that the first domino in the line falls over, setting off a chain reaction that causes all the remaining dominoes to tip over and so on. In these games, a player can only play a domino that has upon its exposed ends a number that matches the value of a domino already on the table. If the domino has a value that is not matched by an existing domino, it is called a “wild” domino and may be played at will. A player is said to be out of the game when he plays his last domino.

Dominoes are usually double-sided and each side has a different number of pips. Each domino has a value that is determined by its number of exposed pips and can be matched with an existing domino in a row by the number of pips it shares with the other. A domino is also referred to as a “doublet” or a “combination” domino, depending on the number of pips on each face.

The word “domino” is also commonly used to refer to a person who can control other people, such as an authority figure, boss, or parent. When someone is described as having the power to dominate others, it means that he can influence their decisions and behavior in ways that are difficult for them to resist. A person with domino power is able to exert his will over others in an almost mystical way.

A more subtle use of the word “domino” occurs in writing, where it describes a plot that progresses in a predictable way. Whether a writer composes a novel off the cuff or uses a detailed outline, the success of a story ultimately hinges on how well each scene logically connects to the next. In other words, does a character’s goal in the final scene follow naturally from the emotional beats that occurred before it?

In mathematics, a domino is an excellent manipulative for teaching addition. Using a set of dominoes, a teacher can choose a domino at random and ask students to name the combination of numbers on its faces (for example, a 2 and a 4). Then they can add these two numbers together and write the resulting equation. This activity helps students understand the commutative property of addition and can bridge the gap between using moveable objects like cubes to represent numerical values and writing only symbolic representations of addition symbols. This is an especially good activity to use once students have mastered the dot patterns of dominoes and dice.