Definition of doll in English:



  • 1A small model of a human figure, often one of a baby or girl, used as a child's toy.

    • ‘Matchbox cars, dolls, and action figures all offer the opportunity for your child to learn visual discrimination.’
    • ‘For example, people dance, play musical instruments, act in plays, and play with dolls and model trains.’
    • ‘But he's no mere gatherer of porcelain dolls, ship-in-bottle models or hockey cards.’
    • ‘A baby in not a doll, neither should it be treated as one.’
    • ‘Their hair is cut so the boys look like porcupines and the girls like china dolls.’
    • ‘Toy makers now have to compete with an explosion of video games, interactive dolls, action figures and gadgets that appear to come alive when hooked up to a television set.’
    • ‘My daughter would also have liked the children's room, full of dolls dressed in hand-embroidered baby gowns and Victorian toys.’
    • ‘But here we are talking about things like boys playing with dolls and girls playing with trucks.’
    • ‘Girls dressed the dolls and put them in prams, beds or cradles which were often handed down from one generation to the next.’
    • ‘As well, both the dolls and the human models are masked.’
    • ‘In the second session, children were exposed to art works such as art from waste, clay modelling, making Papier-mache dolls and pot painting.’
    • ‘Toys, including dolls and teddy bears, were stored in boxes and there were several trophies, some crayons and a child's cough medicine on the mantelpiece nearby.’
    • ‘Research shows if a woman is given a baby or a doll to hold she is twice as likely to hold it on her left, rather than her right hand side.’
    • ‘Baby dolls are the must-have for many little girls this Christmas.’
    • ‘There are toys for the girls: soft dolls and wicker houses.’
    • ‘And do the pictures still show girls playing with dolls, boys with cars?’
    • ‘Our models are dolls, teddy bears and vintage mannequins poised for draping by fashion designers who play and train here.’
    • ‘The kit consists of dolls, glove puppets and models, including a garage, designed to encourage interaction.’
    • ‘There are so many dolls and soft toys in need of names.’
    • ‘The main categories of toys exported are soft toys, dolls, plastic toys, educational toys, electronic and mechanical toys and games and puzzles.’
    puppet, marionette, figure, figurine, model
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    1. 1.1North American informal An attractive young woman, often with connotations of unintelligence and frivolity.
    2. 1.2North American informal A generous or considerate person.
      ‘would you be a doll and set the table?’
      • ‘Karen was, and is, a doll and her friends were great.’
      • ‘For seventeen years she had been nothing but a doll, following her father's orders.’
      • ‘Oh, and be a doll, and leave me a review.’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Dress someone or oneself smartly and attractively.

    ‘I got all dolled up for a party’
    • ‘With Gladiator he's put Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix on the map by dolling them up in pleated skirts and throwing them into a pit.’
    • ‘She's the kind of girl that will always be beautiful whether dolled up in a dress or wearing a paper bag.’
    • ‘Some people get all dolled up and that's fine but I rarely feel like dressing up.’
    • ‘I get dressed, get all dolled up in my black shirt and blue jeans.’
    • ‘Get on your fanciest dress and get all dolled up!’
    • ‘The girls were up before me already getting all dolled up for the big day.’
    dress up, dress smartly, dress attractively
    get up, do up, tog up, dress up to the nines, put on one's glad rags
    tart up
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Mid 16th century (denoting a mistress): nickname for the given name Dorothy. The sense small model of a human figure dates from the late 17th century.