• (Australia) IPA: /pɔl/
  • (British) IPA: /pəʊl/, /pɔʊl/
  • (America) IPA: /poʊl/

poll (plural polls)

  1. A survey of people, usually statistically analyzed to gauge wider public opinion.
  2. A formal election.
    The student council had a poll to see what people want served in the cafeteria.
    • All soldiers quartered in place are to remove […] and not to return till one day after the poll is ended.
  3. A polling place (usually, as plural, polling places)
    The polls close at 8 p.m.
  4. (now, rare, outside, veterinary contexts) The head, particularly the scalp or pate upon which hair (normally) grows.
    • 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
      ...the doctor, as if to hear better, had taken off his powdered wig, and sat there, looking very strange indeed with his own close-cropped black poll.
    • 1908, O. Henry, A Tempered Wind
      And you might perceive the president and general manager, Mr. R. G. Atterbury, with his priceless polished poll, busy in the main office room dictating letters..
  5. (in extended senses of the above) A mass of people, a mob or muster, considered as a head count.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      We are the greater poll, and in true fear / They gave us our demands.
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene iii]:
      The muster file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll.
  6. The broad or butt end of an axe or a hammer.
  7. The pollard or European chub, a kind of fish.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • German: Wahllokal
  • Portuguese: urna
  • Russian: избира́тельный уча́сток

poll (polls, present participle polling; past and past participle polled)

  1. (transitive) To take, record the votes of (an electorate).
  2. (transitive) To solicit mock votes from (a person or group).
  3. (intransitive) To vote at an election.
  4. To register or deposit, as a vote; to elicit or call forth, as votes or voters.
    He polled a hundred votes more than his opponent.
    • poll for points of faith his trusty vote
  5. To cut off; to remove by clipping, shearing, etc.; to mow or crop.
    to poll the hair; to poll wool; to poll grass
    • Who, as he polled off his dart's head, so sure he had decreed / That all the counsels of their war he would poll off like it.
  6. (transitive) To cut the hair of (a creature).
    • Bible, 2 Sam. xiv. 26
      when he [Absalom] polled his head
    • His death did so grieve them that they polled themselves; they clipped off their horse and mule's hairs.
  7. (transitive) To remove the horns of (an animal).
  8. To remove the top or end of; to clip; to lop.
    to poll a tree
  9. (transitive, computing, communication) To (repeatedly) request the status of something (such as a computer or printer on a network).
    The network hub polled the department's computers to determine which ones could still respond.
  10. (intransitive, with adverb) To be judged in a poll.
    • 2008, Joanne McEvoy, The politics of Northern Ireland (page 171)
      The election was a resounding defeat for Robert McCartney who polled badly in the six constituencies he contested and even lost his own Assembly seat in North Down.
  11. (obsolete) To extort from; to plunder; to strip.
    • which polls and pills the poor in piteous wise
  12. To impose a tax upon.
  13. To pay as one's personal tax.
    • the man that polled but twelve pence for his head
  14. To enter, as polls or persons, in a list or register; to enroll, especially for purposes of taxation; to enumerate one by one.
    • 1649, [John] Milton, [Eikonoklastes]  […], London: Printed by Matthew Simmons,  […], OCLC 1044608640 ↗:
      polling the reformed churches whether they equalize in number those of his three kingdoms
  15. (legal) To cut or shave smooth or even; to cut in a straight line without indentation.
    a polled deed
Translations Translations Adjective
  1. (of kinds of livestock which typically have horns) Bred without horns, and thus hornless.
    Poll Hereford
    Red Poll cows
    • 1757, The monthly review, or, literary journal, volume 17, page 416:
      Sheep, that is, the Horned sort, and those without Horns, called Poll Sheep [...]
    • 1960, Frank O'Loghlen, Frank H. Johnston, Cattle country: an illustrated survey of the Australian beef cattle industry, a complete directory of the studs, page 85:
      About 15000 cattle, comprising 10000 Hereford and Poll Hereford, 4000 Aberdeen Angus and 1000 Shorthorn and Poll Shorthorn, are grazed [...]
    • 1970, The Pastoral review, volume 80, page 457:
      Otherwise, both horned and poll sheep continue to be bred from an inner stud.
  • (British) IPA: /pɒl/

poll (plural polls)

  1. A pet parrot.
Pronunciation Noun

poll (plural polls)

  1. (UK, dated, Cambridge University) One who does not try for honors at university, but is content to take a degree merely; a passman.

Proper noun
  1. A female given name.
    • 1833 The Pilgrim Brothers [signed Timotheus Scribewell], Romances of Chivalric Ages, H. Cope, page iv:
      "A gentleman, please Sir," said the blushing Mary, (or Poll as some unrespective and light-minded persons have misnamed her), and the gentleman entered.
  2. A common pet name for a parrot.
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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