- a portion or allotment of money, food, etc., especially as given at regular intervals by a charity or for maintenance.
- a dealing out or distributing, especially in charity.
- a form of payment to the unemployed instituted by the British government in 1918.
- any similar payment by a government to an unemployed person.
- Archaic. one's fate or destiny.
- to distribute in charity.
- to give out sparingly or in small quantities (usually followed by out): The last of the water was doled out to the thirsty crew.
- on the dole, receiving payment from the government, as relief: They couldn't afford any luxuries while living on the dole.
Origin of dole1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- grief or sorrow; lamentation.
Origin of dole2
- Robert J(oseph),born 1923, U.S. politician: senator 1969–96.
- Sanford Ballard,1844–1926, U.S. politician and jurist in Hawaii: president of Republic of Hawaii 1894–98; first territorial governor 1900–03.
Examples from the Web for dole
I was also involved in the origins of the Dole Institute of Politics at Kansas University.This Republican Loved Taxes & Modern Art
November 19, 2014
These labels matter, but so does our over-zealous urge to dole them out and endlessly dwell on them.Lena Vs. The Feminist Police
November 9, 2014
A month before the Ethics Committee vote that McConnell boasts about today, he and Dole were publicly defending Packwood.And Now Mitch McConnell Is the ‘Pro-Woman’ Candidate!
October 20, 2014
“There can be no question that the trendiest trend of our popular culture is the return of drug use,” Dole said.The Secrets of ‘Pulp Fiction’: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About the Movie on Its 20th Anniversary
October 19, 2014
But I hope enough Kansans remember what Roberts did to Dole when the latter was counting on him most.Dole, Nazis, and Desperation in Kansas
September 26, 2014
The other bade them measure out the supplies, "Pray, dole them out."Anabasis
Do not dole out money to your wife as though she were a beggar.The Wedding Ring
T. De Witt Talmage
But he fished out a dole, though he was vexed at the injury to the supper.The Tragic Muse
Nothing can pacify him but Mrs. Allen's notice and a dole from her hand.Our Village
Mary Russell Mitford
Dole sunlight into his room by degrees; and when he can bear it, drench him with it.A Simpleton
- a small portion or share, as of money or food, given to a poor person
- the act of giving or distributing such portions
- the dole British informal money received from the state while out of work
- on the dole British informal receiving such money
- archaic fate
- (tr usually foll by out) to distribute, esp in small portions
- archaic grief or mourning
Word Origin and History for dole
Old English dal "state of being divided; sharing, giving out," shortened from gedal "portion," related to dæl "deal," from Proto-Germanic *dailiz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon del, Middle Dutch deil, Dutch deel, Old High German teil, German Teil). On the dole is 1920s.
"hand out charity," mid-15c., from dole (n.). Related: Doled; doling.