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

  • noun A figure having the likeness of a human, especially one used as a child's toy.
  • noun A person considered to be physically attractive.
  • noun A woman.
  • noun A helpful or obliging person.
  • noun Used as a term of endearment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A sweetheart; a mistress; a paramour; a doxy. Also dolly.
  • noun Dung, especially of pigeons.
  • noun A large cake of sawdust mixed with dung, used for fuel.
  • noun A large lump.
  • noun A simple contrivance on a Jacquard loom which indicates to the weaver that something is wrong with the action of the pattern-card cylinder. Also called detector and blockhead-board.
  • noun A puppet representing a child, usually a little girl (but also sometimes a boy or a man, as a soldier, etc.), used as a toy by children, especially by girls.

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

  • noun a small, usually flexible figure representing a human being, especially a toy baby for a little girl; a child's puppet.
  • noun slang an attractive woman or girl.

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

  • noun A toy in the form of a human.
  • noun informal Used to refer to or address a woman.
  • noun Australia A term of endearment (ie. darling).
  • verb intransitive To cause to be more beautiful of attractive. See also doll up.

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

  • noun a small replica of a person; used as a toy
  • noun informal terms for a (young) woman


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

[From Doll, nickname for Dorothy.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Doll, a popular pet form of Dorothy.


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  • What we need is a historical reverse dictionary of meanings. 'Doll' was only used in the modern sense from about 1700 (and was cant at first); 'poppet' was used in this sense from about the fifteenth century; so what did English children play with before?

    August 22, 2008