• WordNet 3.6
    • n doily a small round piece of linen placed under a dish or bowl
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Doily A kind of woolen stuff. "Some doily petticoats.""A fool and a doily stuff, would now and then find days of grace, and be worn for variety."
    • Doily A small napkin, used at table with the fruit, etc.; -- commonly colored and fringed.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n doily An old kind of woolen stuff. Also used attributively.
    • n doily A small ornamental napkin, often in colors, fringed and embroidered, and brought on the dinner-table on a dessert-plate, with the finger-bowl, etc., arranged upon it: also used for many similar purposes.
    • n doily Also spelled doyley.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Doily doi′li (obs.) an old kind of woollen stuff: a small napkin used at dessert.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
So called from the name of the dealer
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From Doily or Doyley, a famous haberdasher.


In literature:

No table cloths; just small pieces, doilies and plenty of neat, pretty towels.
"The Motor Girls on Crystal Bay" by Margaret Penrose
Remove the glass and doily; put it in front of your plate a little to the right.
"The Complete Bachelor" by Walter Germain
There were cups and spoons, and doilies.
"Elizabeth Hobart at Exeter Hall" by Jean K. Baird
They made pretty clothes, embroidered them; made lace and doilies.
"The New Education" by Scott Nearing
Shake and replace doilies or covers.
"Scouting For Girls, Official Handbook of the Girl Scouts" by Girl Scouts
Serve in tall footed glasses, set on your finest doilies in your prettiest plates.
"Dishes & Beverages of the Old South" by Martha McCulloch Williams
This doily is frequently an elaborate article of fancy work, not for use but ornament.
"Social Life" by Maud C. Cooke
But now we have some nice small cloths, which are less trouble to put on than the doilies.
"A Little Housekeeping Book for a Little Girl" by Caroline French Benton
We got the doilies, too.
"Just Around the Corner" by Fannie Hurst
But if we had no doilies, I should use a lunch cloth that would just cover the top of the table, and that would be pretty, too.
"The Fun of Cooking" by Caroline French Benton

In poetry:

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)
"Filling Station" by Elizabeth Bishop
Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
"Filling Station" by Elizabeth Bishop

In news:

Inside, our room was all sleek and classical -- not a doily or a tchotchke in sight -- and calming creamy colors.
Kimber Cavendish and Vicki Faust, the owners of a hilly site in the South Congress neighborhood, were determined to prove that bed-and-breakfast doesn't have to mean doilies and doll collections.
KimberModern proves that bed-and-breakfast doesn't have to mean doilies and doll collections.
A Doily-Free Bed and Breakfast in Austin.
Three of the gallery walls are pinned with mainly white and beige doilies while the fourth, smartly selected to be seen last, bursts with color.
With the doilies came testimonials that support the exhibition theme, and these accompany images in loose-leaf binders the visitor may peruse.
At Penn State, it was all but served on a platter complete with a doily and silverware.
Making Valentines out of doilies and Elmer's Glue is so fun, but who has the time.
It's a valentine, doilies not included.
Every year in February I buy large paper doilies, which the students glue on to large red paper.
Give bookshelves a playful trim with the addition of paper doilies.
Spray-paint doilies to match your decor, and let dry.
With a utility knife and a ruler, cut doilies in half.
In the United States, teahouses are the domain of the doilies.
Present cookies in tins with our download-and-print doily labels, or scan and print your own doilies.

In science:

Doodles and doilies, non-simple symmetric Venn diagrams.
A New Rose : The First Simple Symmetric 11-Venn Diagram