Dictionary

1ballot

noun bal·lot \ˈba-lət\

: a ticket or piece of paper used to vote in an election

: a process that allows people to vote in secret so that other people cannot see their votes

: the total number of votes in an election

Full Definition of BALLOT

1
a :  a small ball used in secret voting
b :  a sheet of paper used to cast a secret vote
2
a :  the action or system of secret voting
b :  the right to vote
c :  vote 1a
3
:  the number of votes cast
4
:  the drawing of lots

Examples of BALLOT

  1. They cast their votes in a secret ballot.
  2. She was elected by secret ballot.

Origin of BALLOT

Italian ballotta, from Italian dialect, diminutive of balla ball — more at balloon
First Known Use: 1549

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

2ballot

verb

: to ask (people) to decide something by voting

Full Definition of BALLOT

intransitive verb
:  to vote or decide by ballot
bal·lot·er noun

First Known Use of BALLOT

1580

Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism

Rhymes with BALLOT

BALLOTER Defined for Kids

ballot

noun bal·lot \ˈba-lət\

Definition of BALLOT for Kids

1
:  a printed sheet of paper used in voting
2
:  the action or a system of voting
3
:  the right to vote
4
:  the number of votes cast

Word History of BALLOT

Long ago, the Italian city of Venice was a republic. The people of Venice had secret voting. They used balls with different colors or marks to vote. The Italian word for a ball used to vote, ballotta, meant literally little ball. The English word ballot came from this Italian word. Anything used to cast a secret vote, such as a piece of paper, can be called a ballot.

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