or doy·ley

[ doi-lee ]
See synonyms for doily on
noun,plural doi·lies.
  1. any small, ornamental mat, as of embroidery or lace.

  2. Archaic. a small napkin, as one used during a dessert course.

Origin of doily

First recorded in 1670–80; named after a London draper of the late 17th century

Words Nearby doily Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use doily in a sentence

  • Somebody has to draw the line, and if it takes a 90-pound Jewish grandmother bedecked in a doily to do it, so be it.

  • All wear white gloves, have doily-adorned seats, and accept American Express.

    Gal With a Suitcase | Jolie Hunt | November 27, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • She had arranged the jelly in a dainty dish, and now ran into the dining-room for a doily, which she wrapped about it.

    Those Dale Girls | Frank Weston Carruth
  • Remove the glass and doily; put it in front of your plate a little to the right.

    The Complete Bachelor | Walter Germain
  • If fruit is the first course, there should be at each place a fruit-plate with a doily, finger-bowl, and fruit-knife on it.

    The Expert Maid-Servant | Cristine Terhune Herrick
  • All such receptacles are placed on a small plate either with or without a paper doily of the right size.

    Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 4 | Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
  • Place a lace paper doily on the plate, stand the glass on this and lay a pink rose on the plate.

    Suppers | Paul Pierce

British Dictionary definitions for doily


doyley or doyly

/ (ˈdɔɪlɪ) /

nounplural -lies or -leys
  1. a decorative mat of lace or lacelike paper, etc, laid on or under plates

Origin of doily

C18: named after Doily, a London draper

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