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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for dolly

Synonyms: Noun

action figure, doll, poppet [Midland], puppet

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of dolly in a Sentence


We'll need a dolly to move the refrigerator. my kid sister was always playing with her dollies

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The park does have carts to haul your gear and dollies to transport firewood. Sharyn Alden, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Island hopping in Wisconsin: 5 worth a visit," 15 June 2018 Being bound to a mechanic’s dolly in the middle of a metal-heavy landfill does things to a man’s perspective. Steve Johnson,, "5 thoughts recapping Season 8, Episode 14 of 'The Walking Dead'," 2 Apr. 2018 Some of the options being discussed include the provision of equipment — cameras, lights, dollies — and legal services. Alexandra Zavis,, "Saudi Arabia is opening movie theaters. Now the kingdom wants to make movies too," 6 Apr. 2018 Throwing trashcans dollies, and stuff like that--broke one of the windows and cut Michael Chiesa really bad. Demetrio Teniente, Houston Chronicle, "There is a warrant out for Conor McGregor's arrest after he crashed the UFC 223 presser," 5 Apr. 2018 White said trash cans, dollies and bike racks were tossed at the bus, one of the objects nearly hitting Rose Namajunas, UFC's women's strawweight champ who is slated to fight Joanna Jedrzejczyk on Saturday. A.j. Perez, USA TODAY, "Police seek to question Conor McGregor after attack on UFC bus injures Michael Chiesa," 5 Apr. 2018 Even the hood releases and the dollies are hydraulic. Nicole Spector /, NBC News, "Why millennials should start considering truck driving: It's almost a tech job," 18 Mar. 2018 Friday’s auction also includes a lot of moving pads, furniture dollies and similar equipment. Mark Davis, kansascity, "It’s like eBay before eBay. Time runs out Friday night for Grandview business," 15 Feb. 2018 Kayaks with pedal drivers tend to weigh between 75 and 120 pounds, and most owners use a tow dolly to wheel the heavier boats to and from the water. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, "Kayak, SUP, canoe for escape hatch to freedom," 15 Feb. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of dolly


1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1878, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dolly

Statistics for dolly

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dolly

The first known use of dolly was in 1790

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dolly



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dolly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dolly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dolly

Spanish Central: Translation of dolly

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

Comments on dolly

What made you want to look up dolly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!