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dole1

[dohl] /doʊl/
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
1000
before 1000; Middle English dol, Old English gedāl sharing; cf. deal1
Synonyms
1. share, pittance. 7. ration.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for on the dole

dole1

/dəʊl/
noun
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.
(Brit, informal) the dole, money received from the state while out of work
4.
(Brit, informal) on the dole, receiving such money
5.
(archaic) fate
verb
6.
(transitive) usually foll by out. to distribute, esp in small portions
Word Origin
Old English dāl share; related to Old Saxon dēl, Old Norse deild, Gothic dails, Old High German teil; see deal1

dole2

/dəʊl/
noun
1.
(archaic) grief or mourning
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Late Latin dolus, from Latin dolēre to lament
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for on the dole

dole

n.

Old English dal "state of being divided; sharing, giving out," shortened from gedal "portion," related to dæl "deal," from Proto-Germanic *dailiz (cf. Old Frisian and Old Saxon del, Middle Dutch deil, Dutch deel, Old High German teil, German Teil). On the dole is 1920s.

v.

"hand out charity," mid-15c., from dole (n.). Doled; doling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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