dole

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be on the dole

To be or begin receiving assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to be on the dole these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on the dole for extended periods of time.
See also: dole, on

dole out

To distribute something, either physically or verbally. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dole" and "out." I'll have the volunteers dole out pamphlets to the audience before I begin my lecture. Rachel is always doling out criticism, so of course she's sensitive to any critique of herself.
See also: dole, out

go on the dole

To begin receiving assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (usually run by the government) due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on the dole these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have gone on the dole for extended periods of time.
See also: dole, go, on

on relief

In receipt of assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (most often government-run), due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on relief these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on relief for extended periods of time.
See also: on, relief

on the dole

In receipt of assistance, financial or otherwise, from publicly or privately funded agencies (most often government-run), due to a certain level of hardship, poverty, or need. It was really disheartening having to go on the dole these past six months, but it was the only thing that kept our family afloat after I lost my job. Some people are very critical of those who have been on the dole for extended periods of time.
See also: dole, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dole something out

(to someone ) to distribute something to someone. The cook doled the oatmeal out to each camper who held out a bowl. Please dole out the candy bars, one to a customer. She doled it out fairly.
See also: dole, out

on the dole

receiving welfare money. I spent six months on the dole, and believe me, it's no picnic.
See also: dole, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

on relief

Also, on welfare; on the dole. Receiving public financial assistance, as in Half the people in this town are on relief, or Don hated the idea of going on welfare. The first two terms originated in the United States in the 1930s, when government assistance of this kind was first instituted. On the dole, used mainly in Britain but occasionally in America, dates from the 1920s, although the use of dole for a charitable gift dates from about 1200.
See also: on, relief
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dole out

v.
To distribute something: The government doles out cheese to the needy. The teacher doled pencils out to the students.
See also: dole, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

on the dole

Receiving regular relief payments from or as if from the government.
See also: dole, on

on relief

Receiving public assistance because of need or poverty.
See also: on, relief
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
"If theres anyone who has mistakenly attached themselves to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, then let me remind you," Dole said during his acceptance speech at the 1996 Republican National Convention.
Dole reached for the White House multiple times as Gerald Fords running mate in 1976, in Republican presidential primaries of 1980 and 1988, and finally as the GOPs nominee in 1996.
Many wives of politicians have been professionals--lawyers, former legislators, and teachers--but Dole has been in a different league.
Dole remained a fierce supporter of a constitutional amendment (the "Human Life Amendment") to outlaw all abortions--a position he has since repudiated, though it remains in the 1996 GOP platform.
Political expediency certainly inspired some of Watts's opposition to Dole - Canady.
[sections] Dole's company was known as a "suicide squad" because of the unusually heavy casualties it took.
Dole also launched eight new items in the Canadian market that are delivering incremental volume again by meeting specific consumer needs, as well a new line called Fresh Makes, which features four flavors with pasta, fresh vegetables, and dressing.
However, the 1980 presidential campaign spawned one of the first of many sticky situations Owen was involved in as a member of a Dole campaign.
Upon his election to the Senate, Dole assumed the lonely burden of defending Richard Nixon's Vietnam policy, a task he performed with bitter determination.
Bob Dole, a former cigarette smoker, wants to crack down on pot.