dole out

verb

Definition of dole out

transitive verb
1 :to give or deliver in small portions

First Known Use of dole out

1749

Synonym Discussion of dole out

distribute, dispense, divide, deal, dole out mean to give out, usually in shares, to each member of a group. distribute implies an apportioning by separation of something into parts, units, or amounts.
    • distributed food to the needy
dispense suggests the giving of a carefully weighed or measured portion to each of a group according to due or need.
    • dispensed wisdom to the students
divide stresses the separation of a whole into parts and implies that the parts are equal.
    • three charitable groups divided the proceeds
deal emphasizes the allotment of something piece by piece.
    • deal out equipment and supplies
dole out implies a carefully measured portion of something that is often in short supply.
    • doled out what little food there was


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