\ 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

And yet Biden, at this moment, leads in the Democratic primary polls, 13 points ahead of the pack overall, up only four points in California but nine points in Iowa and 21 points in North Carolina. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Joe Biden, Designated White Guy," 13 Aug. 2019 The Woodlands and Cinco Ranch made the biggest leaps in the Class 6A rankings this week, while Magnolia leads the area in Class 5A. Check out the rest of this week's state volleyball poll below. Adam Coleman, Houston Chronicle, "Six Houston-area teams dot latest state volleyball rankings," 13 Aug. 2019 The only post-second round of debate poll conducted in the Granite State put former Vice President Joe Biden – the front-runner in the nomination race – at 21 percent, with Sanders at 17 percent. Fox News, "Sanders campaign fights media narrative that White House bid is slipping," 13 Aug. 2019 For many years, public opinion polls had documented diminishing support for democratic institutions. N.c., The Economist, "Conspiracy theories are dangerous—here’s how to crush them," 12 Aug. 2019 Political parties hold their primaries simultaneously and voting is obligatory in Argentina, making them effectively an early poll ahead of the Oct. 27 presidential election involving the entire electorate. Washington Post, "Argentina starts its closely watched political primaries," 12 Aug. 2019 Men’s college soccer: The Patriot League released its preseason men’s soccer awards and rankings on Thursday morning, with Loyola University Maryland sitting atop the preseason poll for a third year in a row. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "U.S. advances to women’s under-19 lacrosse title game," 9 Aug. 2019 Methodology aside, polls are a measure of the current mood. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "Polls from previous US elections show that anything’s still possible," 9 Aug. 2019 Take our ranking poll below and interact on Twitter @ENQSports to sound off on which team is getting your attention this weekend. Jason Hoffman, Cincinnati.com, "Who will you be watching/listening to? Bengals, FC Cincinnati and Reds all play Saturday," 9 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Defining a swing state is in the eye of the beholder as demographics, polling trends and other dynamics could change right up until the last minute. Bob Sellers, Fortune, "Here’s How the Economy Has Performed in Every Swing State Since Trump Was Elected," 7 Aug. 2019 Booker, with his earnest message of love and unity, has been polling in the single digits for months, concerning even his fiercest backers. Los Angeles Times, "Cory Booker tries to turn his debate moment into momentum," 1 Aug. 2019 Buttigieg led all Democratic primary candidates during second-quarter fundraising, but has consistently polled in the single digits, lagging behind the leading candidates. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "Takeaways from Pete Buttigieg's performance in second Democratic debate," 31 July 2019 The startup’s app can also be used for reading textbooks online, polling students mid-lesson, or conducting quizzes and tests. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "24-year-old SDSU grad raises $5 million for college startup CourseKey," 30 July 2019 Instead, Sanders will be joined by Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as the three front-runners, along with seven other candidates polling in the single digits. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "Bernie Sanders has an Elizabeth Warren problem at tonight’s debate," 30 July 2019 Our calculation shows that the year before a presidential election, the average change in a candidate’s polling numbers in the two weeks after a debate was 6%. The Economist, "Presidential debates seldom move opinion polls," 22 June 2019 Winning a spot on the stage depends on two metrics: the number of individual donors to a campaign and polling performance in national or early-state surveys. Victoria Mcgraneand James Pindell, BostonGlobe.com, "The demise of the New Hampshire primary? Nah, they’ve heard that one before.," 20 June 2019 Trump trailed Biden by double digits in the key swing states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, according to polling numbers obtained by NBC News. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Poll: Biden, Sanders lead Trump in Florida," 18 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

16 Aug 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).


of or relating to the heavens

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