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dol·​ly ˈdä-lē How to pronounce dolly (audio)
plural dollies
: doll
: a wooden-pronged instrument for beating and stirring clothes in the process of washing them in a tub
: a compact narrow-gauge railroad locomotive for moving construction trains and for switching
: a platform on a roller or on wheels or casters for moving heavy objects
: a wheeled platform for a television or motion-picture camera


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dollied; dollying

transitive verb

: to treat with a dolly
: to move or convey on a dolly

intransitive verb

: to move a motion-picture or television camera about on a dolly while shooting a scene
also, of a camera : to be moved on a dolly

Examples of dolly in a Sentence

Noun We'll need a dolly to move the refrigerator. my kid sister was always playing with her dollies
Recent Examples on the Web
Plus, due to its weight, setup required several people and a dolly to move it around. Phoebe Sklansky, Parents, 25 Nov. 2023 Surveillance video indicates the suspect broke into the gallery's entrance through a driveway gate, using a dolly to transport the statue onto a truck in a timeframe of 25 minutes. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 28 Sep. 2023 The individual, who remains unidentified, used a dolly and ropes to remove the statue from among hundreds of other ancient art pieces housed at the gallery and into the van before driving away. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 28 Sep. 2023 The grips, working in religious silence, position the camera on a dolly for a tracking shot. Pino Gagliardi, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Sep. 2023 The computers and a dolly were just kind of like rigged to this machine. Patrick Brzeski, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Sep. 2023 There were no dollies, tripods, or other equipment — only a handheld camera with the actors. Carlos Aguilar, Rolling Stone, 28 Aug. 2023 The back doors roll up, and a crew of delivery workers begins sorting and stacking hundreds of boxes and pouches onto rolling dollies and hand trucks. Christopher Bonanos, Curbed, 12 May 2023 Best Cinematography featured a brief lesson about Spike Lee and Ernest Dickerson’s use of the dolly and Orson Welles and Gregg Toland’s use of low angles. Vulture, 13 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dolly.' 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


1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1878, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dolly was in 1790

Dictionary Entries Near dolly

Cite this Entry

“Dolly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural dollies
: a platform on a roller or on wheels for moving heavy objects
especially : a wheeled platform for a television or motion-picture camera

More from Merriam-Webster on dolly

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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