noun, plural dol·lies.

verb (used with object), dol·lied, dol·ly·ing.

to transport or convey (a camera) by means of a dolly.

verb (used without object), dol·lied, dol·ly·ing.

to move a camera on a dolly, especially toward or away from the subject being filmed or televised (often followed by in or out): to dolly in for a close-up.

Origin of dolly

1600–10; 1900–05 for def 9; doll + -y2


or Dol·lie



a female given name, form of Doll. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dolly

Contemporary Examples of dolly

Historical Examples of dolly

  • Dolly, he said, was too tired after her journey to do more than send a friendly greeting to them.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • I am got above minding my brother, cousin Dolly:—he is but my brother.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • You haven't any political secrets that Dolly wants to get at, have you?

  • Thank you, Boy, for not letting them squirt water on my dolly's clean dress.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • And here he exchanged a grin with Hugh, who removed his eyes from Dolly for the purpose.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for dolly


noun plural -lies

a child's word for a doll
films television a wheeled support on which a camera may be mounted
a cup-shaped anvil held against the head of a rivet while the other end is being hammered
a shaped block of lead used to hammer dents out of sheet metal
a distance piece placed between the head of a pile and the pile-driver to form an extension to the length of the pile
cricket a simple catch
Also called: dolly bird slang, mainly British an attractive and fashionable girl, esp one who is considered to be unintelligent

verb -lies, -lying or -lied

films television to wheel (a camera) backwards or forwards on a dolly
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 dolly

c.1600, Dolly, a fem. nickname (see doll); 1790 as "child's doll;" applied from 1792 to any contrivance fancied to resemble a dolly in some sense, especially "a small platform on rollers" (1901). Doesn't look like one to me, either, but that's what they say.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for dolly


The first mammal successfully cloned — Dolly, a sheep — was born in 1996 in Scotland as the result of work by biologist Ian Wilmut (see clone). The procedure that produced Dolly involved removing the nucleus from an egg cell and placing the nucleus of an adult sheep's mammary cell into it. Further manipulations caused the egg to “turn on” all genes and develop like a normal zygote. (See totipotency.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.