poll tax


: a tax of a fixed amount per person levied on adults and often linked to the right to vote

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web And paid two dollars for his poll tax. CBS News, 5 May 2021 In 1924, the doctor gamely paid his poll tax. Lee Drutman, Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2022 According to Erin Geiger-Smith, author of the new book Thank You for Voting, those seeking to suppress the vote used to rely on explicitly discriminatory laws, such as ones requiring voters to pay a poll tax or others that made Native Americans ineligible to vote. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, 3 Nov. 2020 But in each of these cases, the men who took over had been long-serving and high-ranking members of their predecessors’ administrations, and (with the exception of Major’s abandonment of the highly unpopular poll tax) largely continued the policy program on which their predecessor had been elected. Laura Beers, CNN, 24 Oct. 2022 The violence erupted after Mose Norman, a citrus farmer who had helped July Perry register fellow Blacks and women to vote, was twice turned away from his election precinct by poll workers for failing to pay a poll tax, later outlawed by the 24th Amendment. Stephen Hudak, orlandosentinel.com, 7 Aug. 2020 Philosopher Henry David Thoreau penned his celebrated civil disobedience essay after being jailed for not paying a poll tax that funded the war. Jose R. Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 4 Feb. 2023 Voting rights advocates characterized the Florida proposal as essentially a poll tax that would disenfranchise people of color and people living in poverty. Molly Beck, Journal Sentinel, 7 Feb. 2023 The new constitution removes racist language in three sections, pertaining to: involuntary servitude as punishment, an allowance for segregated schools, and an allotment of poll tax money. Sarah Swetlik | Sswetlik@al.com, al, 8 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'poll tax.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1692, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of poll tax was in 1692

Dictionary Entries Near poll tax

Cite this Entry

“Poll tax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll%20tax. Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

poll tax

: a tax of a fixed amount per adult person that is often linked to the right to vote

Legal Definition

poll tax

: a tax of a fixed amount per person levied on adults

More from Merriam-Webster on poll tax

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