Idioms

    dish it out, Informal. to dispense abusive language, punishment, or praise, enthusiastic approval, etc.: When it comes to flattery, he can really dish it out.

Origin of dish

before 900; Middle English; Old English disc dish, plate, bowl (akin to German Tisch table) < Latin discus dish, discus
Related formsun·der·dish, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for dish out

dish out

verb informal

(tr, adverb) to distribute
dish it out to inflict punishmenthe can't take it, but he can sure dish it out

dish

noun

a container used for holding or serving food, esp an open shallow container of pottery, glass, etc
the food that is served or contained in a dish
a particular article or preparation of fooda local fish dish
Also called: dishful the amount contained in a dish
something resembling a dish, esp in shape
a concavity or depression
informal an attractive person
informal something that one particularly enjoys or excels in

verb (tr)

to put into a dish
to make hollow or concave
British informal to ruin or spoilhe dished his chances of getting the job
See also dish out, dish up
Derived Formsdishlike, adjective

Word Origin for dish

Old English disc, from Latin discus quoit, see disc
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

Word Origin and History for dish out

dish

n.

Old English disc "plate, bowl, platter," from Latin discus "dish, platter, quoit," from Greek diskos "disk, platter" (see disk). A common West Germanic borrowing; Old High German borrowed the word as tisc "plate," but German tisch now means "table," in common with other later Romanic forms (e.g. Italian desco, French dais). Meaning "particular variety of food served" is first recorded mid-15c. Meaning "what one likes" is c.1900; that of "attractive woman" is 1920s. Meaning "concave reflector or antenna" attested from 1948.

dish

v.

"to serve food," late 14c., from dish (n.). Meaning "to disparage, denigrate" first recorded 1940s; probably from the same notion in figurative dish it out "administer punishment" (1934). Related: Dished; dishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with dish out

dish out

1

Deal out, dispense, as in He dishes out advice to one and all. This expression alludes to serving food from a dish. ] Colloquial; first half of 1600s]

2

dish it out. Dispense abuse or punishment, as in He can dish it out with the best of them, but he can't take it. [Slang; c. 1930]

dish

In addition to the idioms beginning with dish

  • dish out
  • dish the dirt

also see:

  • do the dishes

Also see underdishwater.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.