\ 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

Overall support was up to 29% — 56% among black respondents in a November 2007 Pew Research Center poll. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Say it was so, Joe! Biden was right to oppose busing in the ’70s," 2 July 2019 According to a Pew Research Center poll published in December, 37 percent of Italians hold Russia in a favorable light — more than in any European country except Greece or Hungary, among the 10 that were polled. Washington Post, "Putin to meet with the pope and Kremlin-friendly politicians in Rome," 2 July 2019 Last month, the county board voted to spend up to $20,000 on a poll of county residents likely to vote in November to help assess whether the proposal should be placed on the ballot. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "This part of the Macomb County Jail is old and hot," 2 July 2019 Lamont’s endorsement comes as a new CNN poll shows Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts gaining ground since the first Democratic presidential debates last week. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "Amid the crowded field of Democrats running for president, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont is endorsing Joe Biden," 2 July 2019 The network surveyed 656 Democrats June 28-30 as part of a larger poll of voters in both parties. Laura Litvan, BostonGlobe.com, "Biden’s lead shrinks as Harris, Warren rise in post-debate poll," 2 July 2019 In a poll after the debate, that number dropped to 57%. David Lauter, latimes.com, "Who won the Democratic debates? We’re getting answers now," 1 July 2019 In a 1999 Gallup poll on desegregation busing, the overwhelming majority of Americans were opposed to the practice. NBC News, "Busing becomes focal point of Democratic primary after Biden-Harris debate exchange," 30 June 2019 In June, a group of Republican activists and donors commissioned a poll of likely GOP voters in Wyoming. Eli Lake, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Republican hawks need Liz Cheney in the Senate," 30 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

John Horvick of DHM Research, which polls Oregonians on climate change every March, says the results have a far greater partisan split than along urban rural lines. oregonlive.com, "How Oregon’s climate-change bill ran out of gas," 30 June 2019 Biden and Sanders, who have consistently polled in the top two spots, will share center stage. Terry Collins, Fortune, "Why Night 2 of the Democratic Debate Will Be Much Different Than Night 1," 27 June 2019 Another half-dozen candidates who are polling around the 1 percent level — some politicians, but also a pair who have never held elected office — will also be trying to take advantage of this national platform to better stand out in the field. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Where the Democratic race stands before the first debate," 27 June 2019 Elizabeth Warren — who could very well wind up as the Dem nominee — was just one of two candidates on the stage who supported eliminating private health insurance, which doesn’t poll all that well. NBC News, "What to watch for at tonight's second debate," 27 June 2019 Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, which polled 10,300 people between 1991 and 2009, the authors find that the gender gap among 15-year-old Britons is already about 20 percentage points. The Economist, "Are women less interested in politics than men?," 18 June 2019 Analysts polled by FactSet were looking for 71 cents a share. Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Lululemon Reports Higher Sales, Raises Full-Year Outlook," 12 June 2019 But today, the onetime Democratic operative is questioning whether Biden, who polls show leading the pack of Democratic presidential hopefuls, can hang on to that front-runner status and turn it into a win. Lisa Donovan, chicagotribune.com, "The Spin: Mayor Lori Lightfoot says Chicago will need more money from taxpayers to fund city government," 12 June 2019 That's according to a new groundbreaking report from the LGBTQ+ advocacy nonprofit The Trevor Project, which polled more than 34,000 young people in 2018 to compile the largest ever survey on LGBTQ+ youth mental health in America. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "LGBTQ+ Youth Prefer to Seek Mental Health Help Digitally," 11 June 2019

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

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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food or victuals

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