\ˈpōl \

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 plural at 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from poll


pollee \pō-​ˈlē \ noun
poller \ˈpō-​lər \ noun

Synonyms for poll

Synonyms: Noun

bean, block [slang], dome, head, mazard (or mazzard) [chiefly dialect], nob, noddle, noggin, noodle, nut [slang], pate

Synonyms: Verb

bob, clip, crop, cut, cut back, dock, lop (off), nip, pare, prune, shave, shear, snip, trim

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of poll in a Sentence


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.


About half of the people polled had tried smoking. The conservative candidate polled more than 10,000 votes in the last election.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Omar, who is way ahead in the polls, would be the first Somali American in Congress. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Midterm Elections Are Almost Here—What You Need to Know Now," 5 Nov. 2018 ProPublica's Electionland project covers problems at the polls that prevent people from voting. Jack Gillum And Jeff Kao, Ars Technica, "File-sharing software on state election servers could expose them to intruders," 5 Nov. 2018 Early poll numbers show Cruz has a notable lead over O’Rourke in a very conservative state, but Cruz has spent just $424,000 on Facebook ads since May, according to the data. Kurt Wagner, Recode, "Facebook’s top political ad spender is ... Facebook," 23 Oct. 2018 But Alckmin lacks charisma and his poll numbers have been in the single digits. Sarah Dilorenzo, The Seattle Times, "A look at the leading candidates for Brazil’s presidency," 20 Aug. 2018 Throughout the experiments, the poll numbers were fabricated for purposes of experimental control. Benjamin Toff, Washington Post, "How worried are you about an impending trade war? That might depend on what your fellow party members think," 12 July 2018 The lack of civility in politics is a serious problem, 91 percent of American voters said in the Quinnipiac poll. Ted Slowik, Daily Southtown, "Slowik: Trump, race and why it seems like a hate-fueled confrontation might happen anywhere, anytime," 12 July 2018 This led, among other things, to the closing of hundreds of polls. Bree Newsome, SELF, "The 2018 Midterm Elections Proved That Change Must Happen from the Ground Up," 15 Nov. 2018 Trump tells weird lies about polls A certain amount of dissembling has been a part of politics for thousands of years, but Trump is relentlessly dishonest in a very odd way. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s latest interview shows a president who’s in way over his head," 15 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

VoteCast results cannot be reliably compared to the results of previous exit polls, as the two surveys use different methodologies to poll the electorate. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "AP VoteCast: Trump a dominant force on voters’ minds," 7 Nov. 2018 The Indiana Senate race had been polling neck and neck, with neither Braun nor Donnelly able to establish much of a lead. Dylan Scott, Vox, "Mike Braun elected to US Senate: Republican wins Indiana race over centrist Democrat," 7 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, fans and media demanded that coaches poll voters reveal their final ballots after Cal was denied an at-large berth and Texas was awarded a berth in the Rose Bowl. Andy Staples, SI.com, "The Chaos and Consequences of the BCS, 20 Years After Its Inaugural Season," 9 July 2018 Under polling director John Della Volpe, Landis served as chair of the latest HPOP poll, a project of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Political internships surge in the age of Trump," 27 June 2018 After all, a 2014 National Science Foundation poll found more than half of millennials think astrology is a science. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Where Do Zodiac Signs Come From? Here's the True History Behind Your Horoscope," 21 June 2018 His announcement comes a day after the release of a Marquette University Law School poll that revealed Gronik continued to struggle to make an impact with voters and had received just 4 percent support from Democratic voters polled. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Andy Gronik drops out of race against Scott Walker," 21 June 2018 In 2016, for instance, exit polls found Hillary Clinton beating Trump by 42 percentage points among Hispanic Catholics, compared with 30 points among Hispanic Protestants, according to figures provided by CNN polling director Jennifer Agiesta. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "Is the GOP at risk of losing Catholics?," 1 May 2018 At Saleh Hamad school in Shubra, only 3,500 of 12,000 eligible voters cast their votes by midday, or about 29 percent, polling judges there said. Maggie Michael And Samy Magdy, chicagotribune.com, "Egypt votes in presidential election on final day, with all eyes on turnout," 28 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about poll

Dictionary Entries near poll


polka dot

polka mazurka





Statistics for poll

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for poll

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for poll



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

: 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 \

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on poll

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poll

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poll

Spanish Central: Translation of poll

Nglish: Translation of poll for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poll for Arabic Speakers

Comments on poll

What made you want to look up poll? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!