dol·​ly | \ ˈdä-lē How to pronounce dolly (audio) , ˈdȯ-lē \
plural dollies

Definition of dolly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : doll
2 : a wooden-pronged instrument for beating and stirring clothes in the process of washing them in a tub
3 : a compact narrow-gauge railroad locomotive for moving construction trains and for switching
4a : a platform on a roller or on wheels or casters for moving heavy objects
b : a wheeled platform for a television or motion-picture camera


dollied; dollying

Definition of dolly (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to treat with a dolly
2 : 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

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Synonyms for dolly

Synonyms: Noun

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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: Noun Note to launch at Putah Creek, a tow dolly helps plenty to get your kayak down to the water’s edge. Tom Stienstra,, "Everything you need to know to visit Lake Berryessa in fall," 18 Oct. 2019 Carts, dollies, buckets, trestle tables, and concertina platforms are rolled around the open floors in a complex yet orderly choreography. Eve Macsweeney, Vogue, "Will MoMA’s New Commissions Make the Museum Modern Again?," 7 Oct. 2019 Museum officials told police a man walked into the museum Aug. 7 carrying a clipboard and pushing a dolly. Jason Green, The Mercury News, "Man claims to be technician, steals ATM from San Jose museum," 12 Sep. 2019 There’s one particular moment, there’s a shot, and Ryan had set up this tiny little dolly to do this dolly shot of his son and the megaphone and the dog. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Star of the Doritos Time Machine Super Bowl commercial has made a very unusual film," 8 Sep. 2019 In all, Glendale Unified paid about $5,000 for the accessories, which includes dish racks, trays, utensils, dollies and a drying rack. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, "Dishwasher donation continues green evolution at Franklin Elementary," 27 Aug. 2019 The bookmakers pack up their computers and roll them away on dollies, leaving the lawn littered with betting slips. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "Hats Like Sneezes, Playing at Aristocracy and Other Notes From Royal Ascot," 24 June 2019 Internal police documents viewed by show that MPD wreckers had been illegally charging storage, winching and dolly fees that went against city towing laws. Christopher Harress |, al, "Mobile police admit to violating city towing laws, but commit to changes," 7 Aug. 2019 Museum officials are using air dollies to move the statue through a series of doorways, windows, hairpin turns and tight squeezes. USA TODAY, "Pride pickup, sphinx on move, Tony Stark’s cabin: News from around our 50 states," 13 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dolly.' 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 dolly


1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1878, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for dolly

Time Traveler

The first known use of dolly was in 1790

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Statistics for dolly

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dolly.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for dolly


How to pronounce dolly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dolly

: a child's toy doll
: a piece of equipment that has wheels and that is used for moving heavy objects


\ ˈdä-lē How to pronounce dolly (audio) \
plural dollies

Kids Definition of dolly

2 : a platform on a roller or on wheels for moving heavy things

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More from Merriam-Webster on dolly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dolly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dolly

Spanish Central: Translation of dolly

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

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