dole(redirected from on the dole)
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Dôle(dōl), city (1990 pop. 28,860), Jura dept., E France, in Franche-Comté, on the Doubs River. There are metallurgical, food, and other industries. Dôle was the capital of Franche-Comté until Louis XIV conquered the region; he shifted the parlement from Dôle to Besançon. The university, founded (1422) by Philip the Good of Burgundy, was also transferred to Besançon at that time. Louis Pasteur was born in Dôle; his home is now a museum.
dole,distribution to the poor, usually of food or money. In medieval times doles were usually from bequests of money or land, and the income was given to charity or distributed to the local poor at funerals. John Leake in 1792 left £1,000 to Trinity Church, New York City, the income of which was to provide wheat loaves to be distributed to the poor every Sunday morning after services. After World War I the term was applied in Great Britain to weekly payments to the unemployed—the noncontributory payees under the out-of-work-donation plan of 1918; the plan was terminated in 1919. The term was then applied to payments made under the National Unemployment Insurance scheme; it has also been applied to payments to the unemployed by the poor-law authorities. In the United States, the word has acquired pejorative implications.
1. a small portion or share, as of money or food, given to a poor person
2. the act of giving or distributing such portions
3. Brit informal money received from the state while out of work
4. on the dole Brit informal receiving such money