\ 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

The unmanned submarine, whose moniker won a landslide victory in a public poll to name a $300 million British polar research ship, undertook its inaugural mission in April 2017. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Boaty McBoatface makes significant climate change discovery on first mission," 18 June 2019 However, he was stuck at 1 percent support in the paper's latest poll. NBC News, "Shaking hands is so 2008. This presidential primary has been 'nationalized'.," 17 June 2019 The percentage of New Yorkers who support the bill had risen to 41 percent, from 34 percent in a March Siena poll. Vivian Wang, New York Times, "Progressives Vowed Driver’s Licenses for the Undocumented. Then the Suburbs Spoke Up.," 16 June 2019 In a recent poll conducted by the Toronto Star, Canadians between 18–35 reported watching more of NBA Finals than the Stanley Cup this spring. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "We The Champs: Kawhi, Masai and the Legend of the 2019 Raptors," 14 June 2019 In a recent YouGov poll 19% of Democrats said the environment was the most important issue for them. The Economist, "The Democratic front-runners respond to the Green New Deal," 14 June 2019 For example, all polled above 7 percent in a recent Quinnipiac poll of 500 likely voters. Christina Prignano, BostonGlobe.com, "The Democratic debate stage lineup is out. Here’s how it could all play out," 14 June 2019 In a poll last year, Gallup asked what socialism means. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "The Many, Tangled American Definitions of Socialism," 14 June 2019 Neither Hickenlooper, Bennet nor Delaney have surpassed 1% support in any national poll this year. Cara Korte, CBS News, "Sanders delivers vigorous defense of democratic socialism," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The poll included Democratic figures, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former first lady Michelle Obama and billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey, each of them polled at more than 1%. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Lots of debate about Democrats' 2020 debates," 8 June 2019 If more than 20 candidates meet both or either of those thresholds, those who are polling lowest will get cut. Casey Tolan, The Mercury News, "First Democratic presidential debate: Who’s in and who’s out?," 8 June 2019 That’s one focus of a new study by media nonprofit Common Sense, which polled more than 1,100 U.S. 13- to 17-year-olds this past spring. Rani Molla, Recode, "Teens are hooked on social media. But how does it make them feel about themselves?," 11 Sep. 2018 In February, the nation’s attorney general’s office announced an investigation into Mr. Anaya, an opposition candidate who was polling better than the PRI candidate. Danny Hakim, New York Times, "Mexico’s Hardball Politics Get Even Harder as PRI Fights to Hold On to Power," 24 June 2018

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

21 Jun 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).


to take the place or position of

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