Main definitions of dole in US English:

: dole1dole2

dole1

noun

  • 1usually the doleBritish informal Benefit paid by the government to the unemployed.

    ‘she is drawing on the dole’
    • ‘Chinese medicine subsidy may be granted to elderly dole recipients.’
    • ‘A broadside has been issued at ‘the dole office’ for alleged harassment of people who want to claim dole.’
    • ‘Despite being laid off, workers are not yet entitled to any dole payments.’
    • ‘Pocket money, dole or reduced pension does not stretch to these luxuries, since privatisation for profit precludes travel to and cost of entrance to these simple pleasures.’
    • ‘He was talking on Wednesday about plans by welfare groups to stage a protest against cuts in dole payments.’
    • ‘His bank at home transfers his dole money to a local bank here.’
    • ‘The government has come under renewed attack after it said it would go ahead with cuts in dole payments to the disabled and elderly despite calls from a wide spectrum of the community to delay the reductions.’
    • ‘Unemployed and facing the dole queue, this enterprising young man decided to set up his own business.’
    • ‘She left a scribbled note, saying she was going downtown to cash her dole cheque.’
    • ‘Those people going on the dole would have otherwise been employed and off the dole.’
    • ‘She said: ‘If he had had that first dole cheque on time my son might be alive today.’’
    • ‘Many poor families could not afford such activities as swimming classes for their children, especially after dole payments were slashed by 11 per cent last year.’
    • ‘Our tax dollars get wasted on dole payments to businesses who then charge us more for the privilege of consuming the products we've already subsidised.’
    • ‘All these writers emphasise the resilience and diversity of unemployed protest, from the peaceful petitioning favoured by moderates to the mass resistance of anti-eviction struggles and dole strikes.’
    • ‘Its resistance was made possible not merely by its unionization but by the dole to the unemployed.’
    • ‘The allowances of able-bodied dole recipients was cut by this amount last October but those for the elderly and the disabled were spread over two phases, last October and on Friday.’
    • ‘However, he said he had declined the invitation because he would be attending a rally on September 30 to protest against cuts in dole payments to the elderly and disabled.’
    • ‘The three lads topped up their dole cheques with some cash-in-hand building work for Alan's dad, a building contractor.’
    • ‘Whole regions of the country went into serious decline, and unemployment and dole dependency skyrocketed.’
    • ‘But the increasing number of low-income dole recipients shows that wages have generally stayed low and that its economy is not likely to fully recover in the short term.’
    unemployment benefit, state benefit, government benefit, benefit, benefit payments, social security, social security payments, public assistance allowance, allowance, welfare, insurance money, grant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1dated A charitable gift of food, clothes, or money.
      • ‘Another institution of the municipality was the langarkhana, where money and grain doles were issued to the destitute once a week and clothes once a year.’
      • ‘On the other we have a party, which realises the importance of opening up our economic and trade frontiers and is happy to project India as a prosperous land, which does not require dole from the developed world anymore.’
      • ‘Sometimes people feel insulted to get doles from jeans-clad English-speaking urbane rich-kids.’
      • ‘But his language mistakes were no barriers as kids and elders alike wanted to hear the man as he showered doles on them.’
      gift, donation, offering, contribution, handout, presentation, bestowal
      View synonyms
  • 2literary A person's lot or destiny.

verb

[with object]dole something out
  • Distribute shares of something.

    ‘the scanty portions of food doled out to them’
    • ‘Before she took over, every girl in the school received an award of some sort: Commendations were doled out for such accomplishments as athletic achievement, an outstanding English essay, and improvement in math class.’
    • ‘On the other hand, you need a lot of dividend income for this tax break to stimulate your personal economy, and companies are stingy doling dividends out.’
    • ‘A total of 40 tonnes of cornmeal was due to be handed out on the first day but aid officials could not confirm if the entire amount was doled out.’
    • ‘Gifts in the form of sweets, books, posters and cookies were doled out throughout the day!’
    • ‘In most cases, the free passes are doled out even without asking.’
    • ‘These clues are doled out slowly, often in half-overheard conversations or in a furtive glance or gesture.’
    • ‘They will eventually be moved to a clean lab, where they will be doled out to researchers.’
    • ‘It is up to us to enact the regulation, oversight, and judgment necessary to insure that the correct rewards and punishments are doled out to the correct people.’
    • ‘These are fascinating, but could have been more so, had the author used them in a coherent narrative, rather than doling them out in snippets, rarely more than two pages long, to form an impressionistic collage.’
    • ‘In the past, she's officiated at some of his games but doles out absolutely no favoritism.’
    • ‘These raises will be doled out in eight quarterly payments starting in December 2002.’
    • ‘The 2004 movie year doesn't officially end for two more months, when the Oscars are doled out.’
    • ‘More than 1,000 sales force management awards and 8,000 support staff awards were doled out as a result.’
    • ‘I get as many tickets as I can to each show I attend and dole them out to the uninitiated.’
    • ‘The CEO did not specify who provided this advice and if the same advice was doled out to all 11 health boards.’
    • ‘If landing rights were doled out by something resembling a market, this ‘help’ wouldn't be needed.’
    • ‘Minimum rewards were doled out at totally random intervals, yet many of the subjects developed curious repetitive actions.’
    • ‘Firstly, research contracts are doled out on a ‘winner take all’ model, with a five year lifespan - so if a researcher or team misses out, they must survive on a shoestring for five years.’
    • ‘They are less willing to swallow whatever medicine is doled out to them until they know what it is, what it does, and what alternative treatment is available.’
    • ‘Europe recognises regions rather than cities and, like it or not, that is how the cash is doled out.’
    deal out, share out, mete out, divide up, allocate, allot, apportion, assign, distribute, dispense, hand out, give out, pass out, pass round, issue, disburse
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • on the dole

    • informal Registered as unemployed and receiving benefit from the government.

      • ‘That some often live on the dole, unable to find work, only enhances their sense of estrangement.’
      • ‘Evening classes were free then, if you were on the dole.’
      • ‘She maintains that if family benefits are increased in the budget, many of these families will stop working and go on the dole.’
      • ‘It has advised us that there will be an increase in benefit payments as young people currently in training go on the dole.’
      • ‘Because most of us in the house were either on the dole or working part-time, we were able to claim rent allowance from the local health board.’
      • ‘He said that he, his wife and two daughters lived on the dole.’
      • ‘He also pledged to increase the accommodation supplement to match the supplement received by those on the dole.’
      • ‘Many of these positions are providing an alternative to a life on the dole for hundreds of people throughout the country.’
      • ‘I have worked since I was 15, I haven't been on the sick in over 25 years and I've only had two weeks on the dole in my life.’
      • ‘If the unemployment figures were to continue at this pace for an entire year, an extra 90,000 would be on the dole.’

Origin

Old English dāl ‘division, portion, or share’, of Germanic origin; related to deal. The sense ‘distribution of charitable gifts’ dates from Middle English; the sense ‘unemployment benefit’ dates from the early 20th century.

Pronunciation

dole

/dōl//doʊl/

Main definitions of dole in US English:

: dole1dole2

dole2

noun

archaic, literary
  • Sorrow; mourning.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French doel ‘mourning’, from popular Latin dolus, from Latin dolere ‘grieve’.

Pronunciation

dole

/dōl//doʊl/