Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Word of the Year is...

dole1

[dohl] /doʊl/
noun
1.
a portion or allotment of money, food, etc., especially as given at regular intervals by a charity or for maintenance.
2.
a dealing out or distributing, especially in charity.
3.
a form of payment to the unemployed instituted by the British government in 1918.
4.
any similar payment by a government to an unemployed person.
5.
Archaic. one's fate or destiny.
verb (used with object), doled, doling.
6.
to distribute in charity.
7.
to give out sparingly or in small quantities (usually followed by out):
The last of the water was doled out to the thirsty crew.
Idioms
8.
on the dole, receiving payment from the government, as relief:
They couldn't afford any luxuries while living on the dole.
Origin of dole1
1000
before 1000; Middle English dol, Old English gedāl sharing; cf. deal1
Synonyms
1. share, pittance. 7. ration.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for doled
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'm worth all kinds of money, but I can't touch a penny save what is doled out to me.

    A Son Of The Sun Jack London
  • The little that was left in them must be doled out to the very last ounce.

    The Shepherd of the North Richard Aumerle Maher
  • Once a day a small ration was doled out--pitifully small--enough to tantalise appetite, but not to still hunger.

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf Dillon Wallace
  • He became a master-cobbler and doled out what he took in to men like Jamie.

  • He hated her for the paltry allowance she doled out to him, as if he were an irresponsible child.

    A Bottle of Old Wine Richard O. Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for doled

dole1

/dəʊl/
noun
1.
a small portion or share, as of money or food, given to a poor person
2.
the act of giving or distributing such portions
3.
(Brit, informal) the dole, money received from the state while out of work
4.
(Brit, informal) on the dole, receiving such money
5.
(archaic) fate
verb
6.
(transitive) usually foll by out. to distribute, esp in small portions
Word Origin
Old English dāl share; related to Old Saxon dēl, Old Norse deild, Gothic dails, Old High German teil; see deal1

dole2

/dəʊl/
noun
1.
(archaic) grief or mourning
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Late Latin dolus, from Latin dolēre to lament
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for doled

dole

n.

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.

v.

"hand out charity," mid-15c., from dole (n.). Doled; doling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dole

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for doled

7
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for doled