\ ˈpōl How to pronounce poll (audio) \

Definition of poll

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : head
2a : the top or back of the head
b : nape
3 : the broad or flat end of a striking tool (such as a hammer)
4a(1) : the casting or recording of the votes of a body of persons
(2) : a counting of votes cast
b : the place where votes are cast or recorded usually used in pluralat the polls
c : the period of time during which votes may be cast at an election
d : the total number of votes recorded a heavy poll
5a : a questioning or canvassing of persons selected at random or by quota to obtain information or opinions to be analyzed
b : a record of the information so obtained


polled; polling; polls

Definition of poll (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cut off or cut short the hair or wool of : crop, shear
b : to cut off or cut short (a material, such as wool)
2a : to cut off or back the top of (something, such as a tree) specifically : pollard
b : to cut off or cut short the horns of (cattle)
3a : to receive and record the votes of
b : to request each member of to declare a vote individually poll the assembly
4 : to receive (votes) in an election
5 : to question or canvass in a poll
6 : to check (devices, such as several computer terminals sharing a single line) in sequence for messages waiting to be transmitted

intransitive verb

: to cast one's vote at a poll

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Other Words from poll


pollee \ pō-​ˈlē How to pronounce pollee (audio) \ noun
poller \ ˈpō-​lər How to pronounce poller (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for poll

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of poll in a Sentence

Noun The magazine conducted a poll to find out the favorite 100 movies of all time. A recent poll shows a decrease in the number of teenagers who smoke. The polls are open until 8:00 tonight. Verb About half of the people polled had tried smoking. The conservative candidate polled more than 10,000 votes in the last election.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In an August interview, Maricopa County Elections Department spokesperson Megan Gilbertson said a bipartisan group of poll workers reviews ballots with these types of mistakes to determine the voter's intent when possible. Jessica Boehm, The Arizona Republic, "Maricopa County can't tell voters to cross out ballot mistakes, court rules," 10 Sep. 2020 The majority of poll workers work eight hours on the day of the election. Evan Casey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "These Milwaukee-area suburbs need more poll workers for the November election. Here's how to help.," 10 Sep. 2020 Asked about poll workers, Bennett said the District will need about 4,000 of them for a smooth election. Washington Post, "D.C. elections board bracing for ‘record-shattering’ turnout," 10 Sep. 2020 Also included in the plan is $4.1 million set aside for one-time stipends of $175 for poll workers working during the pandemic and hazard pay for state employees earning $50,000 or less. Vivian Jones, Washington Examiner, "Senate Finance Committee approves South Carolina spending plan," 10 Sep. 2020 The state of Minnesota needs 30,000 poll workers each year. Zoë Jackson, Star Tribune, "Minnesota joins national push to recruit young poll workers," 7 Sep. 2020 On polling day, poll workers wheeled in a hotel table, converted into a makeshift voting booth. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "Locked Down in the Ritz-Carlton: Winning the Quarantine Hotel Lottery," 7 Sep. 2020 Money is also being spent to expand rural broadband, help struggling small businesses and recruit poll workers on Election Day. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "WWII anniversary, liquor boom, tracking app: News from around our 50 states," 5 Sep. 2020 Ohio’s secretary of state announced a campaign to register new voters and recruit poll workers at barber shops and salons. Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica, "Electionland 2020: Mail Ballot Challenges, Election Security, New Legislation and More," 4 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey teamed up to poll 2,725 U.S. adults between August 31 and September 1. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "Fortune battleground poll: Biden leads on social unrest, Trump on economy," 9 Sep. 2020 Election challengers are similar to poll watchers but have more privileges. Cara Korte, CBS News, "Election Day dictionary: All the terms you need to know before you vote in 2020," 6 Sep. 2020 See the final results of the Verzuz battles poll below. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Fans Pick Bounty Killer vs. Beenie Man as the Best 'Verzuz' Battle Yet," 4 Sep. 2020 To find out how jobless Americans are faring without the $600-per-week federal pandemic unemployment assistance, Fortune and SurveyMonkey teamed up to poll 2,478 U.S. adults between August 17-18. Lance Lambert, Fortune, "Millions of jobless Americans cut spending following the expiration of their $600 enhanced unemployment benefit," 20 Aug. 2020 Alabama, Florida and LSU were each in the top 10 of the preseason Amway coaches poll with Auburn at No. 12. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, "A tough start, new opponents highlight Texas A&M’s revised conference-only schedule," 18 Aug. 2020 But, Fajman said information on overriding the system isn’t shared at training and such information should be provided to poll workers in the event that a voter surrenders a mail-in ballot in the general election. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "2 Gary precincts with discrepancies in 2020 primary audit were result of ‘training deficiencies,’ change in state statute," 18 Aug. 2020 Section Commissioner Joe Heinz initially was against the change, but asked athletic directors to poll their coaching staffs to get input. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Section to align with state on club/travel teams," 15 Aug. 2020 Leasing or buying more voting machines and recruiting more election judges and poll workers to increase the number of in-person polling sites. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Bexar County considers 24/7 and mega vote centers to widen voter access in Nov. 3 elections," 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poll.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of poll


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for poll


Middle English pol, polle, from Middle Low German

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Time Traveler for poll

Time Traveler

The first known use of poll was in the 14th century

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Statistics for poll

Last Updated

14 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll. Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for poll


How to pronounce poll (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of poll

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an activity in which several or many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to get information about what most people think about something
: the record of votes that were made by people in an election
British : the number of votes made in an election



English Language Learners Definition of poll (Entry 2 of 2)

: to ask (several or many people) a question or a series of questions in order to get information about what most people think about something
: to receive (a specified number or percentage of votes) in an election


\ ˈpōl How to pronounce poll (audio) \

Kids Definition of poll

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the casting or recording of the votes or opinions of a number of persons A poll showed a decrease in student interest.
2 : the place where votes are cast usually used in pl.We go to the polls tomorrow.


polled; polling

Kids Definition of poll (Entry 2 of 2)

: to question in order to get information or opinions about something She polled her classmates on their study habits.


\ ˈpōl How to pronounce poll (audio) \

Medical Definition of poll

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the head or a part of it especially : the region between the ears of some quadrupeds (as a horse)

Medical Definition of poll (Entry 2 of 3)

: to cut off or cut short the horns of (cattle)

Medical Definition of poll (Entry 3 of 3)

: having no horns

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