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[thohl] /θoʊl/
a pin, or either of two pins, inserted into a gunwale to provide a fulcrum for an oar.
Also called tholepin
[thohl-pin] /ˈθoʊlˌpɪn/ (Show IPA)
Origin of thole1
before 900; Middle English tholle, Old English tholl; cognate with Low German dolle, Old Norse thollr; akin to Old Norse thǫll young fir-tree


[thohl] /θoʊl/
verb (used with object), tholed, tholing. Chiefly Scot.
to suffer; bear; endure.
before 900; Middle English tholen, Old English tholian; cognate with Old Norse thola, Gothic thulan; akin to Latin tolerāre (see tolerate), Greek tlênai to bear, endure Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thole
Historical Examples
  • We did but thole her to the river to see if she would sink or swim.

  • And it is well understood by all of them that thou cannot thole an obligation.

    An Orkney Maid Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • The folk round could thole them no longer, so they just up and burned the fort aboot their lugs.

  • But though he could thole, his anger against John was none the less.

    The House with the Green Shutters George Douglas Brown
  • thole; to endure, to bear:—'I had to thole hardship and want while you were away.'

  • There were no oarlocks, but you can make a thole pin with a piece of wood, and that was what Swatty did.

    Swatty Ellis Parker Butler
  • My faither cudna thole them, an' he cudna bide ony ither body to thole them.

    St. Cuthbert's Robert E. Knowles
  • First one thole pin broke and then the other and he had to paddle.

    Swatty Ellis Parker Butler
  • Weel may yon boatie row, or my craig'll have to thole a raxing.

    David Balfour, Second Part Robert Louis Stevenson
  • No Kerr, no lad from Lancashire whomsoever, could thole to be bested by a Welshman.

    Mushroom Town Oliver Onions
British Dictionary definitions for thole


a wooden pin or one of a pair, set upright in the gunwales of a rowing boat to serve as a fulcrum in rowing
Word Origin
Old English tholl, related to Middle Low German dolle, Norwegian toll, Icelandic thollr


(transitive) (Scot & Northern English, dialect) to put up with; bear
an archaic word for suffer
Word Origin
Old English tholian; related to Old Saxon, Old High German tholōn, Old Norse thola to endure: compare Latin tollere to bear up
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 thole

"to be subjected to or exposed to, to endure without complaint," now Scottish and Northern English dialect, from Old English þolian, from Proto-Germanic stem *thul- (cf. Old Saxon tholon, Old High German dolon, German geduld, Old Norse þola, Gothic þulan), cognate with Latin tolerare (see toleration).


"peg," from Old English þoll, from Proto-Germanic *thulnaz (cf. Old Norse þollr, Middle Low German dolle, East Frisian dolle, Dutch dol), of unknown origin. No record of the word in English from c.1000 to mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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