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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.
dish out something
to give something too freely and in large amounts The mayor was famous for dishing out political favors to his pals.Related vocabulary: dish the dirt (on somebody/something)
Usage notes: often it is criticism or unfriendly remarks that are dished out: She dished out insults as easily as some of us dish out praise. sometimes appears as the full expression you can dish it out but you can't take it (you can give criticism freely but you cannot deal with it yourself): I try not to argue with him because I know he can dish it out but he can't take it.
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of dish out food (to serve food)
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.