1

ballot

play
noun bal·lot \ˈba-lət\

Definition of ballot

  1. 1a :  a small ball used in secret votingb :  a sheet of paper used to cast a secret vote

  2. 2a :  the action or system of secret votingb :  the right to votec :  vote 1a

  3. 3 :  the number of votes cast

  4. 4 :  the drawing of lots

Examples of ballot in a Sentence

  1. They cast their votes in a secret ballot.

  2. She was elected by secret ballot.

Did You Know?

When people voted in ancient Athens, they dropped pebbles into an urn. Similarly, when voting was done by the people of Venice during the Renaissance, secrecy was assured by the use of little colored or marked balls. The Italian word for “little ball” is ballotta, from balla, meaning “ball,” and the diminutive suffix –otta. Now any kind of secret voting, by ball, piece of paper, or voting machine, is called a ballot. So is the right to vote itself.

Origin and Etymology of ballot

Italian ballotta, from Italian dialect, diminutive of balla ball — more at balloon


2

ballot

verb bal·lot

Definition of ballot

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to vote or decide by ballot

balloter

noun


BALLOT Defined for English Language Learners

ballot

play
noun

Definition of ballot for English Language Learners

  • : 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

ballot

verb

Definition of ballot for English Language Learners

  • : to ask (people) to decide something by voting


BALLOT Defined for Kids

ballot

play
noun bal·lot \ˈba-lət\

Definition of ballot for Students

  1. 1 :  a printed sheet of paper used in voting

  2. 2 :  the action or a system of voting

  3. 3 :  the right to vote

  4. 4 :  the number of votes cast

History for 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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