doi·​ly | \ ˈdȯi-lē \
plural doilies

Definition of doily

1 : a small napkin
2 : a small often decorative mat

Examples of doily in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Bed-and-breakfasts were getting a bad rap for the doilies. Amy Gamerman, WSJ, "A New Breed of Innkeepers for the Airbnb Era," 8 Nov. 2018 Other patterns derive from snow fences, doilies, smoke rings and other unlikely phenomena, sometimes photographed, manipulated and used as springboards for drawing or collaging. Karen Wilkin, WSJ, "‘Frank Stella Unbound’ Review: Leaving His Mark on Literature," 25 June 2018 Outfitted in bright purple, a big pink bow and a doily for a ruff, King Candy is a Paul Lynde type, with a limp wrist and exaggerated gestures to match. Nico Lang, Harper's BAZAAR, "Disney's Long, Complicated History with Queer Characters," 21 Mar. 2017 Likewise, each julep should be served with a napkin or small linen doily. Esquire Editors, Esquire, "How to Make a Mint Julep," 8 Mar. 2018 Likewise, each julep should be served with a napkin or small linen doily. Esquire Editors, Esquire, "How to Make a Mint Julep," 8 Mar. 2018 Porcelain figurines on fragile doilies on your grandmother's bedside table? Kat Bein, Billboard, "10 Songs About Angels," 30 Jan. 2018 There were also booties shrouded with doily lace that whipped up like a lion’s mane when a foot thrust forward, while another version came with a tasseled fringe. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Thanks to Christopher Kane, the Ugly-Pretty Shoe Just Hit a Heinous-Chic High," 18 Sep. 2017 Irmas have furniture with lace doilies in their living rooms. Michael Harriot, The Root, "If You’re in Hurricane Irma’s Path, Do Us a Favor: Get Out," 6 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doily.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of doily

1711, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for doily

Doily or Doyley flourished1711 London draper

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Dictionary Entries near doily





do in



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Time Traveler for doily

The first known use of doily was in 1711

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English Language Learners Definition of doily

: a usually round cloth or paper that has a decorative pattern made of many small holes


doi·​ly | \ ˈdȯi-lē \
plural doilies

Kids Definition of doily

: a small often lacy cloth or paper used to protect the surface of furniture

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More from Merriam-Webster on doily

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with doily

Spanish Central: Translation of doily

Nglish: Translation of doily for Spanish Speakers

Comments on doily

What made you want to look up doily? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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