noun (1)
\ ˈdōl How to pronounce dole (audio) \

Definition of dole

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 archaic : one's allotted share, portion, or destiny
2a(1) : a giving or distribution of food, money, or clothing to the needy
(2) : a grant of government funds to the unemployed had been on the dole for a year
b : something distributed at intervals to the needy also : handout sense 1
c : something portioned out bit by bit


doled; doling

Definition of dole (Entry 2 of 5)

transitive verb

: to give or distribute as a charity usually used with out dole out food to needy families


noun (2)

Definition of dole (Entry 3 of 5)



biographical name (1)
\ ˈdōl How to pronounce Dole (audio) \

Definition of Dole (Entry 4 of 5)

Bob 1923–     Robert Joseph Dole American politician


biographical name (2)

Definition of Dole (Entry 5 of 5)

Sanford Ballard 1844–1926 American jurist; president (1894–1900) and governor (1900–03) of Hawaii

First Known Use of dole

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dole

Noun (1) and Verb

Middle English, from Old English dāl portion — more at deal

Noun (2)

Middle English dol, from Anglo-French duel, dol, from Late Latin dolus, alteration of Latin dolor — see dolor

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Time Traveler for dole

The first known use of dole was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for dole


\ ˈdōl How to pronounce dole (audio) \

Kids Definition of dole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an act of giving out food, clothing, or money to the needy
2 : something given out to the needy especially at regular times


doled; doling

Kids Definition of dole (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give out Food was doled out to the poor.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dole

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dole

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dole

Spanish Central: Translation of dole

Nglish: Translation of dole for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about dole

Comments on dole

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a small bunch of flowers

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