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1. Literally, to distribute food. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dish" and "out." We should get back to our table—the servers have started dishing out the food.
2. By extension, to dispense something, often verbally. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dish" and "out." Ross is better at dishing out criticism than receiving it himself. That professor is a much harder grader this semester—he must have gotten in trouble for dishing out too many A's.
dish something out
1. Lit. to serve up food to people. I'll dish it out, and you take it to the table. Careful how you dish out the mashed potatoes. There may not be enough.
2. Fig. to distribute information, news, etc. The press secretaries were dishing reports out as fast as they could write them. The company dishes out propaganda on a regular basis.
3. Fig. to give out trouble, scoldings, criticism, etc. The boss was dishing criticism out this morning, and I really got it. The teacher dished out a scolding to each one who was involved in the prank.
1. Deal out, dispense, as in He dishes out advice to one and all. This expression alludes to serving food from a dish. ] Colloquial; first half of 1600s]
2. dish it out. Dispense abuse or punishment, as in He can dish it out with the best of them, but he can't take it. [Slang; c. 1930]
1. To distribute some food from a container: The hosts dished out lots of steaming vegetables to the dinner guests. Could you dish the soup out while I pour the drinks?
2. To distribute something: The company dished out some $10 million in bribes. We made copies of our performance and dished them out to our friends.