noun, plural dol·lies.

  1. Informal. a doll.
  2. a low truck or cart with small wheels for moving loads too heavy to be carried by hand.
  3. Movies, Television. a small wheeled platform, usually having a short boom, on which a camera can be mounted for making moving shots.
  4. Machinery. a tool for receiving and holding the head of a rivet while the other end is being headed.
  5. a block placed on the head of a pile being driven to receive the shock of the blows.
  6. a small locomotive operating on narrow-gauge tracks, especially in quarries, construction sites, etc.
  7. a short, wooden pole with a hollow dishlike base for stirring clothes while laundering them.
  8. Slang. a tablet of Dolophine.
  9. Also called dolly bird. British Informal. an attractive girl or young woman.
  10. (sometimes initial capital letter) Slang. an affectionate or familiar term of address, as to a child or romantic partner (sometimes offensive when used to strangers, casual acquaintances, subordinates, etc., especially by a male to a female).

verb (used with object), dol·lied, dol·ly·ing.

  1. to transport or convey (a camera) by means of a dolly.

verb (used without object), dol·lied, dol·ly·ing.

  1. to move a camera on a dolly, especially toward or away from the subject being filmed or televised (often followed by in or out): to dolly in for a close-up.


  1. a female given name, form of Doll.

noun plural -lies

  1. a child’s word for a doll
  2. films television a wheeled support on which a camera may be mounted
  3. a cup-shaped anvil held against the head of a rivet while the other end is being hammered
  4. a shaped block of lead used to hammer dents out of sheet metal
  5. a distance piece placed between the head of a pile and the pile-driver to form an extension to the length of the pile
  6. cricket a simple catch
  7. Also called: dolly bird slang, mainly British an attractive and fashionable girl, esp one who is considered to be unintelligent

verb -lies, -lying or -lied

  1. films television to wheel (a camera) backwards or forwards on a dolly

c.1600, Dolly, a fem. nickname (see doll); 1790 as “child’s doll;” applied from 1792 to any contrivance fancied to resemble a dolly in some sense, especially “a small platform on rollers” (1901). Doesn’t look like one to me, either, but that’s what they say.

The first mammal successfully cloned — Dolly, a sheep — was born in 1996 in Scotland as the result of work by biologist Ian Wilmut (see clone). The procedure that produced Dolly involved removing the nucleus from an egg cell and placing the nucleus of an adult sheep’s mammary cell into it. Further manipulations caused the egg to “turn on” all genes and develop like a normal zygote. (See totipotency.)

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