thole

verb
\ ˈthōl How to pronounce thole (audio) \
tholed; tholing

Definition of thole

 (Entry 1 of 2)

chiefly dialectal

thole

noun

Definition of thole (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : either of a pair of pins set in the gunwale of a boat to hold an oar in place
2 : peg, pin

The Long History of Thole

Verb

Thole has a long history in the English language. It existed in Middle English in its current form, and in Old English in the form tholian, but in these modern times it tholes only in a few of England’s northern dialects. It has, however, a linguistic cousin far more familiar to most English speakers: the word tolerate traces back to Latin tolerare, meaning “to endure, put up with,” and tolerare and tholian share a common ancestor. Unrelated to our featured word thole, there is another (also very old) thole, which can be used as a synonym of peg or pin, or can refer to either of a pair of pins set in the gunwale of a boat to hold an oar in place.

First Known Use of thole

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thole

Verb

Middle English, from Old English tholian — more at tolerate

Noun

Middle English tholle, from Old English thol; akin to Old Norse thollr fir tree, peg, Greek tylos knob, callus

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The first known use of thole was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Thole.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thole. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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