Meaning of draw lots in English:

draw lots

See synonyms for draw lots


(also cast lots)
  • Decide by lot.

    ‘we drew lots to decide the order’
    • ‘Each year the school chooses a May King and Queen and their attendants by asking for volunteers and then drawing lots to decide who gets the parts.’
    • ‘As these two young men had been in my platoon it was decided that we would draw lots.’
    • ‘Legal judgments have sometimes emphasised the fairness of drawing lots to decide matters of life and death.’
    • ‘He explained that the designers cast lots to decide the participants in the five-day prêt-à-porter.’
    • ‘I and my sister drew lots to decide which one of us would stay at home and look after the children and which one would go out and find work.’
    • ‘At each meeting they cast lots (men and women equally) to decide who should be priest, bishop or prophet for the day.’
    • ‘We hastily drew lots and David got the ‘short straw’.’
    • ‘He worked on the escape team and when the time came to go they drew lots for places.’
    • ‘Depending on how much competition there is we may have to draw lots.’
    • ‘The contenders could draw lots, or, failing that, toss a coin.’
    decide randomly, spin a coin, toss a coin, throw dice, draw straws, cut straws, decide on the toss of a coin, decide on the throw of a die, dice, decide on the drawing of straws
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