Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3

pole1

noun

  • 1A long, slender, rounded piece of wood or metal, typically used with one end placed in the ground as a support for something:

    ‘a tent pole’
    • ‘Another year passes and not so much as a tent pole in the ground.’
    • ‘On the 365th day, April 25, it will be taken down, its support poles put in place and the banner paraded proudly through the streets of Sydney.’
    • ‘Workers had been on every floor when the building collapsed on Wednesday morning after workers removed support poles on the first floor, witnesses said.’
    • ‘Today was definitely not a day to stick your tongue onto a metal pole.’
    • ‘It was thrown at such speed that it completely flattened two thick, metal traffic poles.’
    • ‘The piece is based on a flock of birds in flight - long white poles support wing-shaped metal triangles in a curved line which echoes the movement of a flock.’
    • ‘Canvas tents and hastily assembled lean-tos disappeared in favor of nylon tents complete with metal poles and nylon stakes.’
    • ‘The appearance of a series of tall metal poles at the roadside this week had piqued the curiosity of motorists.’
    • ‘How come my mouth tastes like I just licked a metal pole?’
    • ‘He felt along the ground and grasped onto what felt like a metal pole.’
    • ‘The woman standing next to me had one arm wrapped around the pole for support.’
    • ‘The floor is redwood, the supporting poles are of galvanized steel covered with split bamboo, and the back wall is covered with reed matting.’
    • ‘They attacked the police with anything in hand, from rocks to metal poles to karate kicks.’
    • ‘Instead of metal poles, this camping innovation has rubber supports that inflate through a tire valve.’
    • ‘These are vertical planes of horizontally stacked planks of wood backed by a pole or beam planted in the ground.’
    • ‘The collection highlights three sculptured wire finial designs in two sizes that can be paired with metal or colored wood poles.’
    • ‘But the Transport Research Laboratory has been working on a breakable fence with metal pins between the pole and support.’
    • ‘The ‘smart’ fence uses breakable metal pins inserted between the top pole and the uprights supporting it.’
    • ‘Feed the birds in your garden, preferably on a well-constructed birdtable supported on a single pole and made as cat-proof as possible.’
    • ‘In rural areas, the most basic dwelling is a dirt-floor straw or palm-frond hut supported by poles and sticks.’
    post, pillar, stanchion, standard, paling, pale, stake, stick, picket, palisade, support, prop, batten, mast, bar, shaft, rail, rod, beam, spar, crosspiece, upright, vertical
    staff, stave, cane, spike, baton, truncheon
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A long, slender, flexible rod of wood or fibreglass used by a competitor in pole-vaulting.
    2. 1.2 A young tree with a straight slender trunk and no lower branches:
      ‘new poles should be protected from grazing livestock’
      • ‘Thicker poles are heavy enough to be freestanding.’
      • ‘The vines were trained up trees and also on trellises on poles of willow.’
    3. 1.3
      short for ski pole
      • ‘I ski a wide stance with short poles, with a pole always in the snow.’
      • ‘I walked down to the beach carrying my skis, boots and poles and changed from sandals to my skating boots.’
      • ‘Visually impaired skiers follow the sound of the guide's skis and poles on the snow.’
      • ‘The list of gear for skiers and snowboarders include skis, boots, poles, avalanche safety equipment, helmets, bindings and goggles.’
      • ‘The Whitewoods line will offer packages of cross country boom, skis, poles and bindings.’
      • ‘He showed me how to use my poles for instance, and how to do certain techniques such as the snowplow.’
      • ‘I skied a short distance and thrust my pole down into the depression of the stream.’
      • ‘Muscling through with your poles will not help your ski walking any more than it helps your skiing.’
      • ‘Small fasteners on the pack can be used to carry your poles when you are skiing.’
      • ‘The click of poles and chattering of skis was reminiscent of the tinkling of an old-time piano.’
      • ‘My poles and skis were attached to my pack and the downward trudge began as I suffered.’
      • ‘If I'm lucky, I'll win a downhill ski bag to store our family's five sets of skis and poles.’
      • ‘I galloped down the stairs from the deck of the lodge, jumped into my skis, and secured my poles.’
      • ‘He was striding at cruising speed with his skis in one hand and his poles in the other.’
      • ‘So if it's only your feet, skis, and knees that are coming across, then the pole is not a problem.’
      • ‘With a little help from my poles I was able to cruise down valley for another mile or so.’
      • ‘If you have ski poles, but no arrest grips or ice ax, you can perform a self arrest with your pole tips.’
      • ‘Toko will also introduce a cross country ski pole tube to protect poles while in transit.’
      • ‘We are greeted by wind that whips the German flags one skier has taped to his poles.’
      • ‘Start with your skis off, but grab your poles for added confidence and balance.’
    4. 1.4 A wooden shaft fitted to the front of a cart or carriage drawn by animals and attached to their yokes or collars.
    5. 1.5 A simple fishing rod:
      ‘they tell you on the tin that their tuna is entirely caught with pole and line’
      • ‘It will be with the support of fishermen of Lakshadweep, who use poles and lines to catch fish, that the tagging will be done and the fishes released to the sea.’
      • ‘An angler can now buy a really good quality pole for a fairly modest outlay compared to a few years ago.’
      • ‘Then, lift the pole so the hook and the bulk shot is clear of the water.’
      • ‘There is, however, a Byzantium illustration depicting what appears to be a fishing rod or pole.’
      • ‘Modern day carp poles are ideal for Irish fishing but remember to change the internal elastic for strong powergum as this will enable you to lift decent size fish without needing a landing net.’
      • ‘Year-round you'll find young fishing enthusiasts as well as elderly fishermen relaxing on the wooden pier with their poles and bait.’
      • ‘His winning catch was made up of around 17 lb of carp plus skimmers and perch on pole and maggot at 14 metres.’
      • ‘Some of the pegs are perfect for the pole whilst others are better with a swimfeeder approach.’
      • ‘I opted for a 20 ft rod rather than the more popular pole favoured by many of the local anglers.’
      • ‘After taking two chub, plus perch, on pole and red maggot over chopped worm a switch to chopped worm feeder brought six skimmers that gave him 13-13.’
  • 2British historical

    another term for perch
    1. 2.1
      another term for perch

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Propel (a boat) by pushing a pole against the bottom of a river, canal, or lake:

    ‘the boatman appeared, poling a small gondola’
    [no object] ‘they poled slowly across to the other bank’
    • ‘Once their nesting is over, this ruse will not work, so one intent on rousing a rail in the fall must either wade or pole a boat through a marsh.’
    • ‘Tens of millions of people inhabiting coastal and lowland areas may be poling gondolas where they once walked.’
    • ‘The canoe was first poled upstream and then, once well above our anticipated landing site, was cut rapidly into the current.’
    • ‘Parvat stopped poling the boat and thought for a moment.’
    • ‘Dad and his buddy decided to call it quits for the time being and poled us back to shore.’
    • ‘This was built so that the first barges when not being poled along the navigation by the crews, could be pulled from land by horses.’
    • ‘The canoes were poled in shallow waters and paddled across the channels.’
    • ‘When I woke, feeling a little stronger, a fisherman had poled his dugout to the sandbar and greeted us warmly.’
    • ‘He poled the boat gently along the right hand side of the canal.’
    • ‘It consisted of stretching a cable across the obstacle and attaching flat bottomed boat-like pontoons to it one after another and poling them across, then laying a roadway across them with timber beams.’
    • ‘We learned they were on a two month odyssey heading home, poling their way against the current along the river bank and to the north of the park.’
    • ‘As I left the side of the fishing boat the father carefully poled the craft further from the reef and into deeper water and started the motor.’
    • ‘Something's gone wrong with his wrists and hands after six days of poling a canoe through the Shark River Slough, in Everglades National Park.’
    • ‘Kartik and Sanyas take turns poling the boat, the pole dramatic against the sky.’
    • ‘Job had poled his skiff deep down a finger in the Bayou.’
    • ‘Only when he poled the boat over to show me did I see what he meant.’
    • ‘Several men are poling a raft downriver, while a small ferryboat crosses ahead of it to pick up passengers.’
    • ‘If, for example, after grounding the operator tries to power off instead of calling for assistance or poling the boat to deeper water, it will create a ‘blow hole’ in the grass bed about the size of the hull.’
    • ‘We ran it, Ron Canter poling his canoe from a standing position.’
    • ‘Ezra poled us slowly along the edge of the flat, I squinted into the water seeking one of those grey ghostly silver bullets.’

Phrases

  • under bare poles

    • With no sail set:

      ‘if it really blows you'll end up under bare poles’
      • ‘Even under bare poles a sailboat will heel right over, at least to decks awash, in hurricane force conditions.’
      • ‘Moreover, economic storms can sometimes bring fortune to those who can ride with them provided they can still steer a course when driven under bare poles.’
      • ‘It's powering under bare poles on a day which is ideal for all sail aloft and, unless I've forgotten what she looks like, that's surely Crusty Lady Lily heading for the Gap.’
      • ‘Sails were down and it was running under bare poles before the wind.’
      • ‘It was indeed the coldest day that Challenger had yet experienced and in the violent seas she lay to under bare poles, just trying to survive.’
  • up the pole

    • 1informal Mad:

      ‘taxes can be enough to drive you up the pole’
      mad, crazy, insane, out of one's mind, deranged, demented, distracted
      mental, off one's head, out of one's head, off one's nut, nutty, off one's rocker, round the bend, raving mad, stark raving mad, stark staring mad, bats, batty, bonkers, bananas, loco
      barmy, crackers, round the twist
      buggy, nutsy, nutso
      View synonyms
    • 2informal Pregnant:

      ‘young Sharon's after getting herself up the pole’
      • ‘She said I had shamed them enough without flying in the face of God trying to crack on I was a virgin when everyone on the street knew I was up the pole.’
  • would not touch something with a ten-foot pole

    • informal Used to express a refusal to have anything to do with someone or something:

      ‘relax, I wouldn't touch you with a ten-foot pole!’

Origin

Late Old English pāl (in early use without reference to thickness or length), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch paal and German Pfahl, based on Latin palus stake.

Pronunciation:

pole

/pəʊl/

Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3

pole2

noun

  • 1Either of the two locations (North Pole or South Pole) on the surface of the earth (or of a celestial object) which are the northern and southern ends of the axis of rotation.

    See also magnetic pole
    • ‘During the Antarctic winter the South Pole becomes the coldest place on the planet.’
    • ‘The visible image shows the night side of the crescent Earth looking toward the South Pole.’
    • ‘The icecap on the northern pole is much larger - about the size of Greenland - and comprised primarily of water ice.’
    • ‘Then solid land surfaced and from the top deck Langley could see the port of the only known town in the southern pole.’
    • ‘The image, captured on 19 January, shows an area near the pole about 250 km across from an altitude of about 5,000 km.’
    • ‘Measurements from below the ice are only possible at the North Pole as the Arctic ice cap sits on the sea, unlike the Antarctic, which is a land mass.’
    • ‘The logic of the correction was to visualise a human form straddling the celestial North Pole and orientated with his feet toward the ground.’
    • ‘Viewed from a point over the South Pole, the rotation is clockwise.’
    • ‘Handguns have been to the North Pole, the South Pole, and pretty much everywhere in between.’
    • ‘Moreover, depending on the station's location relative to the pole and the season, it could be subject to extended periods of darkness.’
    • ‘Because of Vega's proximity and because its pole faces Earth, it provides a great opportunity for detailed study of the dust cloud around it.’
    • ‘The region stretched down from the southern pole with minor settlements reaching further out into the wilderness.’
    • ‘I can understand why people would want to walk, ski or pogo stick over this icy terrain to the South Pole to explore or to test their limits.’
    • ‘In 1989, he became the first person to fly a helicopter solo, from the North Pole to the South Pole.’
    • ‘How the U.S. earned the privilege of siting one of its Antarctic bases at the geographic pole in the first place is a charming piece of history.’
    • ‘In the polar world, there are three classic expeditions, the North Pole, the South Pole and the Greenland Ice Cap.’
    • ‘At certain times, Saturn's auroral ring is more like a spiral, its ends not connected as the energy storm circles the pole.’
    • ‘It's all to do with what the North Pole and the South Pole are made up of.’
    • ‘Many thousands of cnidarian species live in the world's oceans, from the tropics to the poles, from the surface to the bottom.’
    • ‘If there was ever a strip of land closest to the North Pole, then this place would have been it.’
    1. 1.1Geometry Either of the two points at which the axis of a circle cuts the surface of a sphere.
      • ‘In order to compute the lunar parallax it was necessary to allow for the fact that the Earth is not a perfect sphere but is flattened at the poles.’
      • ‘The caustic of the equiangular spiral, where the pole is taken as the radiant, is an equal equiangular spiral.’
      • ‘Ibrahim proves in this work that the stereographic projection maps circles which do not pass through the pole of projection onto circles.’
      • ‘You could try simply pushing the poles of a sphere toward each other, as if to make them pass through each other and change places.’
      • ‘Like the lines of longitude on Earth, each great circle eventually intersects with every other great circle at the poles of the sphere.’
    2. 1.2Geometry A fixed point to which other points or lines are referred, e.g. the origin of polar coordinates or the point of which a line or curve is a polar.
      • ‘His development of the pole and polar lines associated with conics led to the principle of duality.’
      • ‘He introduced the word pole in projective geometry.’
      • ‘Hence, we can produce poles, polars, points, geodesics, angles, and so forth readily by converting back to the Poincare model.’
      • ‘Sturm's theoretical work in mathematical physics involved the study of caustic curves, and poles and polars of conic sections.’
    3. 1.3Biology An extremity of the main axis of a cell, organ, or part.
      • ‘The cytoplasm at the posterior pole is distinguished by large organelles, the polar granules, which contain both proteins and RNAs.’
      • ‘Minus ends do not exhibit growth and are often stabilized by complexes such as the nucleation sites at centrosomes and spindle poles.’
      • ‘The PAS-protein stain revealed that the cells at the shoot pole have a dense cytoplasm.’
      • ‘Kinetochore microtubule bundles link sister chromosomes to the poles.’
      • ‘Drosophila embryonic spindles are amphiastral and thus centrosomes at the spindle poles play a critical role in their organization.’
    4. 1.4 Each of the two opposite points on the surface of a magnet at which magnetic forces are strongest.
      • ‘The generation of a uniform stress field based on a magnetic trap with multiple poles was first reported in 1996.’
      • ‘By reversing the direction electricity flows through a magnet the poles can be reversed.’
      • ‘This attraction is similar to that of two opposite poles of a magnet.’
      • ‘Accountability to the Treasury is the opposite pole of the magnet to entrepreneurial spirit.’
      • ‘If one species with slightly different amounts of skin pigmentation couldn't live together, how could two species as different as two poles of a magnet cope?’
      • ‘My eyes are just suddenly drawn towards the north and south poles of a magnet.’
      • ‘If you plot the magnetic field of a magnet using Iron Filings, you see ‘lines’ going from one pole of the magnet around the the other.’
      • ‘You know how the same poles of a magnet repel & the opposite poles attract?’
      • ‘Magnets are arranged with opposite poles to confine the particle beam.’
      • ‘Marked terms show a polarity, like one pole of the magnet or one side of the coin.’
      • ‘A spinning superconductor acts like a very weak magnet, with the poles of the magnet precisely aligned with the axis of the spin.’
      • ‘Physically, they were like the opposite poles of a magnet.’
      • ‘A magnetic monopole would be a magnet with only one pole.’
      • ‘They say that magnets of the same pole repel each other, but in this case it wasn't so.’
    5. 1.5 Each of two terminals (positive and negative) of an electric cell, battery, or machine.
      • ‘Water molecules have poles of positive and negative electric charge that are known to create attractive forces between cells, known as van der Waals forces.’
    6. 1.6 One of two opposed or contradictory principles or ideas:
      ‘Miriam and Rebecca represent two poles in the argument about transracial adoption’
      • ‘It will be noticed that ritual violence has two opposite poles: willful and uncontrolled violence.’
      • ‘Two recent front page stories in this newspaper represent the poles of opinion on crime and punishment.’
      • ‘There are two diametrically opposing poles of opinion on this highly political and racially-charged issue.’
      • ‘Logic, applied to conflict, is the equator between two often very opposite poles.’
      • ‘It's why I keep referring to sexuality as a spectrum: you have your pure heterosexuals and homosexuals as equal and opposite poles.’
      • ‘Weakness and strength are not at opposing poles, but are adjacent to each other separated by a sheet of paper.’
      • ‘Although they are at opposite poles spiritually, they can come together in the physical man.’
      • ‘After the fiery blast of energy that revitalized popular music-making, artists moved to the opposite pole.’
      • ‘This shows how the current crisis distorts opinion, winding it tightly around opposite poles.’
      • ‘In addition to their different fates, these two men were at opposite poles in their views of genetics.’
      • ‘He combines the oppositional poles to achieve points of view and review impossible from one or the other.’
      • ‘These two prelates spoke from opposite poles of the church.’
      • ‘This show suggested the presence of two opposing poles in Indonesia's fashion trends.’
      • ‘Disputes are never easy, especially when both sides are quite literally on opposite poles on the issue.’
      • ‘At these opposite poles of judgment, Sam may be taken as either icon or gargoyle.’
      • ‘It's like they are these two poles of opposing bureaucracies.’
      • ‘Jung saw the libido as flowing between the opposite poles of the conscious and the unconscious, the outer and inner life, in a continuous cycle of progression and regression.’
      • ‘On other occasions the governments and their people were at opposite poles.’
      • ‘This zero-degree photography embodied the opposite pole of the daguerreotype's infinite clarity.’
      • ‘Environmentalists and farmers are currently at opposite poles.’
      extremity, extreme, limit
      antipode
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • be poles apart

    • Have nothing in common:

      ‘the two sisters had ceased to communicate with each other—their ideas were now poles apart’
      • ‘Secondly, a couple of weeks ago I spoke of how it always amazes me that two people watching the very same incident can immediately form judgements on the same incident which are poles apart.’
      • ‘In lifestyle and political values, they are poles apart.’
      • ‘The inner worlds they inhabit are poles apart - yet gradually, under the threat of torture and betrayal, Valentin slowly comes to trust and even love Molina.’
      • ‘Given that politically, we are poles apart, there is quite a lot of common ground.’
      • ‘If you've never watched it live before, do it at some point in your life - it'll make you realise why this country and the US will always be poles apart, but why we're all bred to have a soft spot for Hollywood in the first place.’
      • ‘It is too bold to say they all follow a co-ordinated plan, yet there are acts that seem pretty much similar and there are others that are poles apart in nature.’
      • ‘Far from the aesthetic and the ethical being poles apart, as Kierkegaard and Tolstoy insisted, the aesthetic is itself a quasi-moral project.’
      • ‘Even their reactions to situations are poles apart.’
      • ‘He was poles apart from all his nieces and nephews who were absolutely feral about Vietnam war and what we were doing there and about how Australia was changing.’
      • ‘In its emphasis on self-knowledge gained through the study of poetry and heroes, Emerson's idea of self-reliance is poles apart from the modern notion of self-esteem.’
      completely different, as different as they could be, widely separated, directly opposed, antithetical, incompatible, irreconcilable, miles apart, worlds apart, at opposite extremes, at opposite poles, like night and day
      like chalk and cheese
      antipodal
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Latin polus end of an axis, from Greek polos pivot, axis, sky.

Pronunciation:

pole

/pəʊl/

Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3

pole3

noun

  • short for pole position
    • ‘Blount won four races and five poles, finished second in the standings, and captured the ARCA Rookie of the Year Award.’
    • ‘Yarborough had six wins to Earnhardt's five, but also piled up 14 poles (none for Earnhardt that year).’
    • ‘Hearn, who like Schmidt resides in Henderson, Nev., has a victory and two poles in the IndyCar Series.’
    • ‘Michael Schumacher secures the 47th pole of his career.’
    • ‘Rice also won the pole at the Argent Mortgage Indy 300 at Kansas Speedway on July 3.’
    • ‘The Infiniti Pro Series debuted in early July at Kansas Speedway and the youngster sat on the pole and won its first race.’
    • ‘Along the way, he won 83 races - placing him fifth on the all-time list - and 70 poles.’
    • ‘Kahne's winged sprint debut was at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, where he started on the pole and led every lap to win.’
    • ‘The 22-year-old finished seventh in the standings last season, capturing two poles and five top-five finishes.’
    • ‘In his first championship season he recorded five victories, four poles, and won more than $2 million.’
    • ‘He started from the pole and captured the checkered flag driving a truck for Richard Childress.’
    • ‘In June, Andretti won from the pole again - this time on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.’
    • ‘Castroneves, also a Brazilian, was no slouch either, racing to three victories and three poles and finishing seventh in the points.’
    • ‘It was the first pole position for a rookie since Vitor Meira won the pole at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2002.’
    • ‘Because of that, his 1999 total of seven wins, seven poles, and a sixth-place finish in points was considered something of a downer.’
    • ‘But now to come here and drive for a team that is as big as it is with the Rahal-Letterman and to get not only their first pole for them at Homestead, it was my first pole, and now it's all of our first poles here again at Indy.’
    • ‘Green won three races and four poles in '99, finishing second to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the points standings.’
    • ‘At Michigan International Speedway, Unser won the pole while Luyendyk qualified second.’
    • ‘We got the pole in the last speedway race, so it's not like we're in left field anywhere.’
    • ‘He also earned a total of five top - 10 finishes in 11 starts at Indy, plus the prestigious pole in 1990.’

Pronunciation:

pole

/pəʊl/

Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3

Pole

noun

  • A native or inhabitant of Poland, or a person of Polish descent.

    • ‘In July he was arguing that the British should use their influence to make the Poles more amenable to German demands.’
    • ‘Greeks, Yugoslavs and Poles were also concentrated in enclaves around the suburb.’
    • ‘When a goat goes missing, a French speaker blames the Pole (though at least, in this case, others step in and stop him).’
    • ‘Today there are three main minority ethnic groups in the city - Germans, Poles and Indians.’
    • ‘Smith feels that although Louis returned to Poland when he was just months old, the Pole and his mother intended to stay together.’
    • ‘Some of the German people were all of a sudden no longer Germans but Czechs or Poles.’
    • ‘In addition, many Poles were included in Poland, while the Trentino and South Tirol became part of Italy.’
    • ‘Italians, Poles and Spaniards will tiptoe off home alleging their work is done.’
    • ‘Right-wing renegades - an English-speaker and a Pole, rather than Afrikaners - were responsible.’
    • ‘Our films speak only to 40 million Poles in Poland and a few more millions abroad.’
    • ‘What about the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Italians, the Poles and the English.’
    • ‘I believe a lot has changed in the attitude and the perceptions of the Jews toward the Poles, and of the Poles toward the Jews.’
    • ‘Remarkably, the Poles were the first European team to qualify via the group stages.’
    • ‘Czechs, Poles and Slovenians are also expected to return to holidaying in Bulgaria.’
    • ‘For the past one thousand years, Germans and Poles have at times fought wars and ruled one another.’
    • ‘Similarly, numbers of Poles and Russians detained may have outnumbered Jews in many cases.’
    • ‘The wartime memories of a Polish Jew and a non-Jewish Pole can still be bitterly contrasting.’
    • ‘Listeners to the station heard shots and then an announcement in Polish that it was time for the Poles to attack Germany.’
    • ‘He fought against the Poles and the Turks and the Tartars, returning to Scotland in 1666.’
    • ‘A Pole and a German met in peace to discuss the will of God.’

Origin

Via German from Polish Polanie, literally field-dwellers, from pole field.

Pronunciation:

Pole

/pəʊl/