on the dole


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dole 1

 (dōl)
n.
1. The distribution by the government of relief payments to the unemployed.
2. A share of money, food, or clothing that has been charitably given: increasing the monthly dole given to poor families.
3. Archaic One's fate.
tr.v. doled, dol·ing, doles
To give out, especially in portions or shares; allot or distribute. Often used with out: The mayor doled out jobs to those who had supported him in the election. See Synonyms at distribute.
Idiom:
on the dole
Receiving regular relief payments from or as if from the government.

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

dole 2

 (dōl)
n. Archaic
Sorrow; grief; dolor.

[Middle English dol, from Old French dol, deul, from Late Latin dolus, from Latin dolēre, to feel pain, grieve.]
Translations
References in periodicals archive ?
Last night, Scots workers were furious when they heard the firm who dumped them on the dole were getting more Government hand-outs.