[singular] (also the dole) (British English, informal) money paid by the state to unemployed people He's been on the dole (= without a job) for a year. The government is changing the rules for claiming dole. lengthening dole queues We could all be in the dole queue on Monday (= have lost our jobs). CollocationsUnemploymentLosing your job lose your job (British English) become/be made redundant be offered/take voluntary redundancy/early retirement face/be threatened with dismissal/(British English) the sack/(British English) compulsory redundancy dismiss/fire/ (especially British English) sack an employee/a worker/a manager lay off staff/workers/employees (Australian English, New Zealand English, South African English) retrench workers cut/reduce/downsize/slash the workforce (British English) make staff/workers/employees redundantBeing unemployed be unemployed/out of work/out of a job seek/look for work/employment be on/collect/draw/get/receive (both British English) unemployment benefit/jobseeker’s allowance be/go/live/sign (British English, informal) on the dole claim/draw/get (British English, informal) the dole be on/qualify for (North American English) unemployment (compensation) be/go/live/depend (North American English) on welfare collect/receive (North American English) welfare combat/tackle/cut/reduce unemployment See related entries: Unemployment Word Origin Old English dāl ‘division, portion, or share’, of Germanic origin; related to deal. The sense ‘distribution of charitable gifts’ dates from Middle English; the sense ‘unemployment benefit’ dates from the early 20th cent.Extra examples Many had come off the dole and set up their own small businesses. School leavers were joining the dole queue every day. She lost her job and had to claim dole. She was on the dole for three years before she got a job. The factory closure will mean another few hundred people drawing the dole.