dole out


doled out; doling out; doles out

transitive verb

: to give or deliver in small portions
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of dole out in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Over $125,000 in cash and prizes, including a brand-new truck, are doled out to the contestants, who typically do this type of work without hundreds of screaming fans cheering them on. Conor Knighton, CBS News, 11 Feb. 2024 President Joe Biden’s administration doled out millions to study how to expand passenger train corridors across the U.S. on Friday. Ian Max Stevenson, Idaho Statesman, 6 Feb. 2024 Various prison sentences were doled out Feb. 1 in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Kate Linderman, Kansas City Star, 5 Feb. 2024 Le Creuset Stoneware Mini Heart Bowls Instead of rushing to dole out the correct amount of seasonings for your recipe, organizing all your ingredients beforehand makes the cooking process less hectic. Gabriela Izquierdo, Southern Living, 30 Jan. 2024 Noah, for his part, has continued to dole out hosting advice when asked. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2024 Pitchfork, which has cultivated a brand geared around music criticism doling out spare praise, was founded in 1996 by indie-music fan Ryan Schreiber. Todd Spangler, Variety, 17 Jan. 2024 As always, her family was on hand to dole out support. Nasha Smith, Peoplemag, 27 Dec. 2023 Robots to greet you at the door and bring you champagne This spring, Hilton Worldwide added a new staffer to its roster: Connie, a concierge robot that can dole out restaurant recommendations and guide you to the hotel gym. Abha Bhattarai, Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dole out.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1749, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dole out was in 1749

Dictionary Entries Near dole out

Cite this Entry

“Dole out.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on dole out

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