\ 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 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

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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

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

Synonyms: Verb

canvass (also canvas), interview, solicit, survey

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Baghpat, India India’s 900 million eligible voters head to the polls in an election staggered over six weeks starting April 11. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "A Hindu Nationalist Wave May Lift Modi to Victory," 4 Apr. 2019 Voting will be open for several weeks—fans can check Clare's Instagram for live updates—after which the company will offer a second poll to chose a name for the favorite hue. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "You Can Pick Clare's Newest Paint Color," 28 Mar. 2019 As an insurance company, Samsung conducted a poll of the country which found that 58 percent of households did not have a fire extinguisher as of 2017, despite a recent law requiring them. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Samsung's 'Firevase' Is a Smashing Fire Extinguisher," 28 Mar. 2019 Today, as the public heads to the polls in a midterm election with the potential to change the landscape of Congress, the kids of former presidents are speaking out about the importance of voting. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Former First Daughters Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager Share Why They're Voting Today," 6 Nov. 2018 But young people who typically vote Democratic aren’t the only ones flooding to the polls in extraordinary numbers. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Early Voting Spikes in Texas and Georgia Could Be a Sign of Historic Youth Voter Turnout in the 2018 Midterms," 2 Nov. 2018 But there is a constituency in Britain—about a tenth of voters, polls suggest—who admire Mr Trump. The Economist, "Donald Trump lays into Britain’s Brexit plan," 13 July 2018 While Americans are gearing up for 4th of July bbq’s and fireworks , a new Gallup poll shows that national pride is at a historic low. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "However polarized our politics seem, America has made it through worse," 3 July 2018 Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, is expected to continue to average over $67 a barrel in 2019, according to a poll of 11 investment banks conducted by The Wall Street Journal. Christopher Alessi, WSJ, "Oil-Price Forecasts Hold Steady for 2019," 7 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sarec, whose List of Marjan Sarec is polling at around 15 percent, gave up an acting career to become mayor of the northwestern town of Kamnik and ran for the presidency last year. Washington Post, "Anti-immigrant party set to make gains in Slovenia vote," 1 June 2018 It was long challenged from the right by the National Action Party, while a far left opposition would only poll a couple of percent. Time, "'I Am Here to Salute My President': Mexicans Celebrate Lopez Obrador's Left-Wing Landslide," 2 July 2018 Was John the only person CinemaScore polled on the way out of both movies? Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "Why is 'Hereditary' such a hit with critics — and an apparent flop with audiences?," 11 June 2018 But the chairman did share that the DNC will initially consider more elements, such as grassroots fundraising, rather than just polling to determine the standards for qualifying for the first few debates. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "When Are the Democratic Presidential Debates? 2020 Is Coming Up Fast," 8 Feb. 2019 According to the survey published in the Journal of American College Health, one quarter of the 372 college students polled reported sleep-texting behavior. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "College Students Are Sleep Texting Potentially Embarrassing Things," 5 Dec. 2018 According to Domino, a recent survey by online wedding registry site Zola—which polled over 1,000 people—revealed a vast majority (over three quarters) of newlyweds regretted not having cookware on their registries. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Newlyweds Agree Their Biggest Wedding Registry Regret Is Not Registering For Cookware," 4 Jan. 2019 The magazine polled its loyal Facebook following and did some of their own research to determine the most beautiful place in every state. Fiza Pirani, ajc, "This is the most beautiful place in Georgia, according to Conde Nast," 23 May 2018 Republican voters are still solidly behind Trump (his approval rating among Republicans polled by Gallup is at 86 percent). Jane Coaston, Vox, "Fox News demanded a government shutdown — and got one," 22 Dec. 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.

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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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Dictionary Entries near poll


polka dot

polka mazurka





Statistics for poll

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for poll

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

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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
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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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).


having no equal

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