\ 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 An earlier poll from the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce showed 57% of respondents support the governor. Tresa Baldas, Freep.com, "Age of Resistance: How a virus riled up Michigan and spawned a rebellion," 17 May 2020 Paxton said only an illness or physical disability that prevents a voter from going to the polls is covered. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Coronavirus-related mail voting is off again in Texas, as state Supreme Court weighs in," 16 May 2020 Absentee voters currently must fall under certain requirements such as being disabled, unable to get to the polls because of work, out of state, or over age 65. USA TODAY, "Masks for ‘respect,’ protests of conditions, back in casinos: News from around our 50 states," 13 May 2020 District Judge Tim Sulak in Travis County on April 17 issued a temporary injunction enabling any voter to request a mail-in ballot by claiming that their health would be jeopardized by going to the polls. Taylor Goldenstein, ExpressNews.com, "Civil rights groups sue to overturn vote-by-mail restrictions in Texas," 11 May 2020 Indiana ranked 41st in voter turnout that same year, with just over 58% of registered voters showing up to the polls. Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "How a non-partisan group wants to boost voter turnout by registering 750K new voters," 6 May 2020 The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll was conducted by phone on April 28 through May 3 on a random sample of 1,005 U.S. adults. Claudia Harmata, PEOPLE.com, "Majority of Americans Don’t Support Reopening, Poll Finds — as Coronavirus Continues to Spread," 5 May 2020 An opinion poll conducted in early April for the Henry Jackson Society showed that 74 percent of British adults believe that the Chinese government is to blame for allowing COVID-19 to spread. Matthew Henderson, National Review, "The U.K. Should Abandon Plans to Collaborate with Huawei," 1 May 2020 In comparison, a Gallup poll released last month found that 62% of working Americans have worked from home during the pandemic. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "Japan finally decided to hold a virtual cabinet meeting as a coronavirus precaution," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As many as 80% of the 2,201 adults polled April 18-20 for the survey said they were concerned about contracting COVID-19 in a hospital emergency room. Detroit Free Press, "Coronavirus live updates, May 18: Michigan's partial reopening begins," 18 May 2020 In the report, the Fed references data from Refinitiv, the firm that polls buy-side analysts and provides extensive data based on their forecasts. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The Fed’s economists are worried that stock prices are inflated—and they are right," 18 May 2020 According to annual statistics that the USLA calculates by polling its chapters, beach lifeguards made nearly 86,000 rescues and took over 8 million preventative actions in 2018, the most recent year with data available. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Forcing Lifeguards to Try to Protect Themselves While Working to Save Lives," 18 May 2020 This year's election is unique in that all registered voters will be able to vote by mail-in absentee ballots, and there will be less polling locations available on Election Day. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "When is the deadline to register to vote in Kentucky? We answer 7 election questions," 15 May 2020 Officials say that more than 50 voters or polling workers contracted the coronavirus during the primary. Fox News, "Voters in 3 states head to polls amid coronavirus crisis, as GOP hopes for special election wins," 12 May 2020 Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, unofficially polled his social media followers and listeners on his weekly radio show and found that the group was overwhelming against taking any such vaccine. Los Angeles Times, "‘We want to study you.’ For black Angelenos, coronavirus triggers fear of another Tuskegee," 10 May 2020 The decline was slightly better than what analysts polled by Refinitiv expected, but still the worst in more than a decade. Laura He, CNN, "South Korea's economy just recorded its worst contraction since the Great Recession because of the coronavirus pandemic," 22 Apr. 2020 Mr Sanders won the primary in New Hampshire, almost won in Iowa, trounced his rivals in Nevada and is polling well in South Carolina. The Economist, "Bernie Sanders, nominee," 27 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll. Accessed 5 Jun. 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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