Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Sorrow; grief; dolor.
  • noun The distribution by the government of relief payments to the unemployed.
  • noun A share of money, food, or clothing that has been charitably given.
  • noun Archaic One's fate.
  • transitive verb To give out, especially in portions or shares; allot or distribute. Often used with out: synonym: distribute.
  • idiom (on the dole) Receiving regular relief payments from or as if from the government.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To give in portions or small quantities, as alms to the poor; apportion; distribute; deal: commonly with out: often implying that what is distributed is limited in quantity or is given grudgingly.
  • noun In Scots law, malevolent intention; malice.
  • noun A boundary; a landmark.
  • noun The goal in a game.
  • noun A strip of land left unplowed between two plowed portions; a broad balk.
  • noun A part or portion of a meadow in which several persons have shares. See dole-meadow.
  • noun A part apportioned or divided out; portion; share; lot; fortune: same as deal
  • noun In mining, one of the shares or parts into which a parcel of ore is divided for distribution among the various persons to whom it belongs.
  • noun A portion of money, food, or other things distributed in charity; what is given in charity; alms; gratuity.
  • noun The act of dealing out or distributing: as, the power of dole and donative.
  • noun A low flat place.
  • To pare and thin (leather or skins).
  • noun Grief; sorrow; lamentation; mourning.
  • noun Specifically The moaning of doves.
  • noun In falconry, a flock of turtle-doves.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Scots Law) See dolus.
  • transitive verb To deal out in small portions; to distribute, as a dole; to deal out scantily or grudgingly.
  • noun Distribution; dealing; apportionment.
  • noun That which is dealt out; a part, share, or portion also, a scanty share or allowance.
  • noun Alms; charitable gratuity or portion.
  • noun A boundary; a landmark.
  • noun A void space left in tillage.
  • noun [Obs.] beer bestowed as alms.
  • noun [Obs.] bread bestowed as alms.
  • noun a meadow in which several persons have a common right or share.
  • noun receiving financial assistance from a governmental agency, such as a welfare agency.
  • noun Archaic grief; sorrow; lamentation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To distribute in small amounts; to share out small portions of a meager resource.
  • noun Money or other goods given as charity.
  • noun informal Payment by the state to the unemployed.
  • noun archaic Sorrow or grief; dolour.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun money received from the state
  • noun a share of money or food or clothing that has been charitably given

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English dol, from Old French dol, deul, from Late Latin dolus, from Latin dolēre, to feel pain, grieve.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English dol, part, share, from Old English dāl; see dail- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English dol, from Old English dāl ("portion, share, division, allotment"), from Proto-Germanic *dailan (“part, deal”), from Proto-Indo-European *dhAil- (“part, watershed”). Cognate with Albanian thelë ("portion,piece") and Old Church Slavonic  (dola),  (dilu, "part"). More at deal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ultimately from Latin dolor.

Examples

  • To be on the dole is a horrible experience; therefore it is no worse to be in the torture-chambers of the Gestapo.

    The Lion and the Unicorn

  • We are most anxious in Canada to secure a greater population, but a man who has once received the "dole" argues, "why should I leave England, where the 'dole' is obtainable, and migrate to Canada, where it is not to be secured?"

    A Canadian's View of the Empire as Seen From London

  • The actual dole is not that much money – the real advantage for the people at the bottom of the pile for signing on in the UK is housing benefits and not having to pay tax.

    Gadget Election Thought For Today « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • The word dole is usually applied heartlessly to welfare mothers sustained in their dire poverty by meager government handouts, not to the top bankers now ripping off the taxpayers.

    Robert Scheer: No Tough Love for Wall Street

  • The dole, in other words, was counterproductive; it tended to “impair that anxiety for a livelihood which is almost instinctive”; giving out money could “relax individual exertion by unnerving the arm of industry.”

    A History of American Law

  • The dole, in other words, was counterproductive; it tended to “impair that anxiety for a livelihood which is almost instinctive”; giving out money could “relax individual exertion by unnerving the arm of industry.”

    A History of American Law

  • As on the U.A.B., a quarter of a married man’s dole is regarded as rent.

    The Road to Wigan Pier

  • But for the average British working man and his family, the dole is only just enough to provide adequate clothes and adequate food, and clothes and food are not enough for the normal British working man.

    The British Empire and the World Crisis

  • Noel Saunders, managing director of what will be the first new John Lewis store in London for 20 years, said 200 of his 800 new staff would be taken from the long-term dole queues.

    Evening Standard - Home

  • Noel Saunders, managing director of what will be the first new John Lewis store in London for 20 years, said 200 of his 800 new staff would be taken from the long-term dole queues.

    Evening Standard - Home

Comments

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  • There is a meaning saying dole means fate but none of the examples illustrate that meaning.

    June 11, 2009