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

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

1. share, pittance. 7. ration. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dole1 (dəʊl)
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)
archaic grief or mourning
[C13: from Old French, from Late Latin dolus, from Latin dolēre to lament]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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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Example sentences
The fossil record is notoriously stingy in doling out clues about the history
  of life.
Limiting the political power of doling out favors and tax breaks in exchange
  for votes diminishes the power of lobbyists.
It does not involve cutting taxes and doling out money to people who don't pay.
Adjusting fiscal policy does not mean simply doling out more stimulus.
Related Words
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