\ 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 For example, Giuliani quoted a Detroit poll worker named Jessy Jacob, who submitted an affidavit in the case of Costantino v. City of Detroit. Alan Feuer And Linda Qiu New York Times, Star Tribune, "Giuliani relies on lies, wild conspiracy to push baseless fraud case," 19 Nov. 2020 In New York, more than 1,600 people who voted at a site in the Hudson Valley on election day have been advised to get tested after a poll worker tested positive. Amina Khan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: Mask up, California!," 17 Nov. 2020 Esmeralda County Commissioner Tim Hipp said the positive case is believed to be a poll worker who was working last week during the election. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: North Dakota is now requiring face masks; one of last COVID-19-free counties reports case; Nevada gov. tests positive," 14 Nov. 2020 The lawsuit was premised, in part, on the idea that bleeding Sharpies and poll worker error had cost a slew of Trump supporters their vote. Ian Macdougall, ProPublica, "The Trump Campaign Can’t Find a Judge Who Will Ignore Facts — but It’s Trying," 13 Nov. 2020 Lawyers for the Trump campaign filed a motion on Tuesday to allow a video of a poll worker making that action, which would back up the claims made by voters who came forward complaining about the problem. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Arizona resists allowing GOP video that could prove more in-person votes should be counted," 11 Nov. 2020 TikTok has also been quick to remove videos revealed to be fake, including one of a poll worker burning ballots, according to Angelo Carusone, president of non-profit watchdog Media Matters for America. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "YouTube won't take down video falsely claiming Donald Trump won the election," 7 Nov. 2020 Thanks to every poll worker who guided the process and every clerk tallying votes. al, "Alabamians react to Joe Biden-Kamala Harris election: ‘America just got dropped off at rehab’," 7 Nov. 2020 The possibility that there would be too few polling places, supply-chain disruptions for voting equipment and poll-worker shortages loomed over the general election. Nathaniel Persily And Charles Stewart Iii, WSJ, "The 2020 Election Meltdown That Didn’t Happen, Even Amid the Covid Pandemic," 6 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The deputies talked to poll workers who said the Trump supporters largely kept their distance from voters. Matt Stiles, Los Angeles Times, "Huge Trump car caravan disrupted some voters in Temecula, authorities say," 1 Nov. 2020 The omnipresent specter of the coronavirus gave Election Day a distinctly dystopian flavor, with voters in goggles and face shields handing ballots to poll workers clad in hazmat suits or sealed behind layers of plexiglass. Washington Post, "Coronavirus updates: Exit polls show pandemic not the top priority for many voters as hospitals sound alarm," 4 Nov. 2020 Mount Notre Dame, the coaches poll champions, topped Lakota West 5-0 in the Sept. 19 meeting. Alex Harrison, The Enquirer, "Ohio's best high school soccer could again prove to be from Cincinnati," 3 Nov. 2020 More information is available in the state's guide to poll workers and election challenges. Mikhayla Dunaj, Detroit Free Press, "Here are the rules Michigan poll watchers, election challengers must follow," 2 Nov. 2020 Latino voters are difficult to poll — the population is younger than the national average, with more recent immigrants, both groups that tend to be harder to reach and also late in deciding on political races. David Lauter Washington Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: How to watch election night like a pro," 30 Oct. 2020 Yes can’t afford to poll frequently, but said all the spending by the oil companies is not helping his side. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Oil industry funding for Ballot Measure 1 opposition pushes overall spending to a record $25 million," 29 Oct. 2020 Voters with disabilities may provide that information in writing to poll workers or assisters. Nuha Dolby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "If you're a voter with disabilities in Wisconsin, here's what you should know," 23 Oct. 2020 Taxing proposals typically need to poll at or above 60% early on before opposition campaigns will launch a fight. oregonlive, "Metro transportation package has narrow lead in independent poll, but pollster said it’s ‘in a lot of trouble’," 20 Oct. 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

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Poll.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/poll. Accessed 30 Nov. 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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