\ 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 pluralat 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

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of poll in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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 Republicans keeping Trump at an arm's distance must also reckon with his dwindling poll numbers as November approaches. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "'Republicans are really fed up': GOP increasingly splits with Trump as his polls drag," 12 July 2020 With poll numbers falling and criticism of his handling of the pandemic rising, Trump appeared to warm to the idea of wearing a mask in recent weeks. Fortune, "Trump just wore a mask in public for the first time," 11 July 2020 Rival Joe Biden's poll numbers are looking strong, yet the S&P 500 just wrapped up its longest winning streak since December. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "The debate over $600 payments could dictate the US recovery," 9 July 2020 Trump’s poll numbers have not fallen for no reason. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Trump ignored the facts so he could blame the Black guy," 7 July 2020 Republican insiders telling Fox News that President Trump is grumpy about his reelection prospects and might quit the campaign if his poll numbers don’t improve. Los Angeles Times, "Column: Pete Buttigieg on running as a gay man and his struggles with Black voters," 1 July 2020 But as restrictions eased, Trzaskowski replaced an earlier candidate fielded by his Civic Platform party who had dismal poll numbers, adding a new dynamic and suspense into the race. Vanessa Gera, Fox News, "Poland's presidential vote headed for runoff, exit poll shows," 29 June 2020 Trump’s poll numbers against Joe Biden are cratering. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump Retreats to His Hannity Bunker," 26 June 2020 The thing is, William wants out of the throuple that is helping her poll numbers. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "The Politician Season 2 Binge Club Recap: Episodes 1-7," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Harris County Clerk’s Office announced a plan for safety measures that will be implemented to better protect the health of in-person voters and poll workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "What Cy-Fair voters can expect heading to the polls Tuesday," 11 July 2020 Some academics decided to poll the UK public to find out. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "In the UK, social media use associated with COVID-19 conspiracy theories," 23 June 2020 Legal protection from discrimination does poll well, including among Republicans, and Trump won 81% of the evangelical vote four years ago. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump's 'but Gorsuch' case for reelection takes hit with social conservatives," 17 June 2020 The move, meant to protect voters and poll workers from the coronavirus, has resulted in a huge amount of absentee ballot requests. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "'Doing the best we can': Local election officials scramble to meet absentee ballot demand," 9 June 2020 Teams and leagues could poll fans to identify the most important issues, then provide those fans with impartial info on those issues, including who backs or opposes those issues. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "A suggestion for leagues, teams, fans: Act," 3 June 2020 Of those polled, 66 percent believed race played a role in how police handled anti-social distancing protesters. NBC News, "Pattern of uneven social distancing enforcement coming into view, civil rights experts say," 15 May 2020 And a new poll from Seton Hall University's Stillman School of Business shows that 72% of the people polled wouldn't attend a sporting event until a vaccine is developed. Nate Scott, USA TODAY, "Pro sports may come back and even welcome fans, but would fans go?," 10 Apr. 2020 About 80 percent of those polled spent less than $5,000 on a ring. New York Times, "What’s Going On in This Graph? | Engagement Ring Costs," 6 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for poll

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for poll

Last Updated

28 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll. Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for poll


How to pronounce poll (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for poll

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with poll

Spanish Central: Translation of poll

Nglish: Translation of poll for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of poll for Arabic Speakers

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