Dole out

dole

1 [dohl]
noun
1.
a portion or allotment of money, food, etc., especially as given at regular intervals by a charity or for maintenance.
2.
a dealing out or distributing, especially in charity.
3.
a form of payment to the unemployed instituted by the British government in 1918.
4.
any similar payment by a government to an unemployed person.
5.
Archaic. one's fate or destiny.
verb (used with object), doled, doling.
6.
to distribute in charity.
7.
to give out sparingly or in small quantities (usually followed by out ): The last of the water was doled out to the thirsty crew.
Idioms
8.
on the dole, receiving payment from the government, as relief: They couldn't afford any luxuries while living on the dole.

Origin:
before 1000; Middle English dol, Old English gedāl sharing; cf. deal1


1. share, pittance. 7. ration.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dole1 (dəʊl)
 
n
1.  a small portion or share, as of money or food, given to a poor person
2.  the act of giving or distributing such portions
3.  informal (Brit) the dole money received from the state while out of work
4.  informal (Brit) on the dole receiving such money
5.  archaic fate
 
vb (usually foll by out)
6.  to distribute, esp in small portions
 
[Old English dāl share; related to Old Saxon dēl, Old Norse deild, Gothic dails, Old High German teil; see deal1]

dole2 (dəʊl)
 
n
archaic grief or mourning
 
[C13: from Old French, from Late Latin dolus, from Latin dolēre to lament]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

dole
O.E. dal "sharing, giving out," shortened from gedal "portion," related to dæl "deal," from P.Gmc. *dailiz. Meaning of "charitable portion" (mid-14c.) led to verb "hand out charity" (mid-15c.). On the dole is 1920s. Related: Doled; doling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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