Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3Pole4

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’
    • ‘It was thrown at such speed that it completely flattened two thick, metal traffic poles.’
    • ‘The ‘smart’ fence uses breakable metal pins inserted between the top pole and the uprights supporting it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These are vertical planes of horizontally stacked planks of wood backed by a pole or beam planted in the ground.’
    • ‘Feed the birds in your garden, preferably on a well-constructed birdtable supported on a single pole and made as cat-proof as possible.’
    • ‘Canvas tents and hastily assembled lean-tos disappeared in favor of nylon tents complete with metal poles and nylon stakes.’
    • ‘He felt along the ground and grasped onto what felt like a metal pole.’
    • ‘How come my mouth tastes like I just licked a metal pole?’
    • ‘They attacked the police with anything in hand, from rocks to metal poles to karate kicks.’
    • ‘The appearance of a series of tall metal poles at the roadside this week had piqued the curiosity of motorists.’
    • ‘The floor is redwood, the supporting poles are of galvanized steel covered with split bamboo, and the back wall is covered with reed matting.’
    • ‘Today was definitely not a day to stick your tongue onto a metal pole.’
    • ‘Instead of metal poles, this camping innovation has rubber supports that inflate through a tire valve.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the Transport Research Laboratory has been working on a breakable fence with metal pins between the pole and support.’
    • ‘The woman standing next to me had one arm wrapped around the pole for support.’
    • ‘The collection highlights three sculptured wire finial designs in two sizes that can be paired with metal or colored wood poles.’
    • ‘In rural areas, the most basic dwelling is a dirt-floor straw or palm-frond hut supported by poles and sticks.’
    • ‘Another year passes and not so much as a tent pole in the ground.’
    • ‘Workers had been on every floor when the building collapsed on Wednesday morning after workers removed support poles on the first floor, witnesses said.’
    post, pillar, stanchion, standard, paling, pale, stake, stick, picket, palisade, support, prop, batten, mast, bar, shaft, rail, rod, beam, spar, crosspiece, upright, vertical
    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’
      • ‘The vines were trained up trees and also on trellises on poles of willow.’
      • ‘Thicker poles are heavy enough to be freestanding.’
    3. 1.3
      short for ski pole
      • ‘The Whitewoods line will offer packages of cross country boom, skis, poles and bindings.’
      • ‘So if it's only your feet, skis, and knees that are coming across, then the pole is not a problem.’
      • ‘My poles and skis were attached to my pack and the downward trudge began as I suffered.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are greeted by wind that whips the German flags one skier has taped to his poles.’
      • ‘Muscling through with your poles will not help your ski walking any more than it helps your skiing.’
      • ‘He was striding at cruising speed with his skis in one hand and his poles in the other.’
      • ‘Small fasteners on the pack can be used to carry your poles when you are skiing.’
      • ‘With a little help from my poles I was able to cruise down valley for another mile or so.’
      • ‘I galloped down the stairs from the deck of the lodge, jumped into my skis, and secured my poles.’
      • ‘I ski a wide stance with short poles, with a pole always in the snow.’
      • ‘The click of poles and chattering of skis was reminiscent of the tinkling of an old-time piano.’
      • ‘Start with your skis off, but grab your poles for added confidence and balance.’
      • ‘Toko will also introduce a cross country ski pole tube to protect poles while in transit.’
      • ‘I walked down to the beach carrying my skis, boots and poles and changed from sandals to my skating boots.’
      • ‘I skied a short distance and thrust my pole down into the depression of the stream.’
      • ‘If you have ski poles, but no arrest grips or ice ax, you can perform a self arrest with your pole tips.’
      • ‘If I'm lucky, I'll win a downhill ski bag to store our family's five sets of skis and poles.’
      • ‘He showed me how to use my poles for instance, and how to do certain techniques such as the snowplow.’
    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’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Year-round you'll find young fishing enthusiasts as well as elderly fishermen relaxing on the wooden pier with their poles and bait.’
      • ‘An angler can now buy a really good quality pole for a fairly modest outlay compared to a few years ago.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His winning catch was made up of around 17 lb of carp plus skimmers and perch on pole and maggot at 14 metres.’
  • 2British historical A linear or square rod.

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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Parvat stopped poling the boat and thought for a moment.’
    • ‘Job had poled his skiff deep down a finger in the Bayou.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dad and his buddy decided to call it quits for the time being and poled us back to shore.’
    • ‘Several men are poling a raft downriver, while a small ferryboat crosses ahead of it to pick up passengers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Only when he poled the boat over to show me did I see what he meant.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The canoe was first poled upstream and then, once well above our anticipated landing site, was cut rapidly into the current.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He poled the boat gently along the right hand side of the canal.’
    • ‘Ezra poled us slowly along the edge of the flat, I squinted into the water seeking one of those grey ghostly silver bullets.’
    • ‘Tens of millions of people inhabiting coastal and lowland areas may be poling gondolas where they once walked.’
    • ‘Kartik and Sanyas take turns poling the boat, the pole dramatic against the sky.’

Phrases

  • under bare poles

    • With no sail set.

      ‘if it really blows you'll end up under bare poles’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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

/pōl//poʊl/

Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3Pole4

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.

    • ‘Viewed from a point over the South Pole, the rotation is clockwise.’
    • ‘The image, captured on 19 January, shows an area near the pole about 250 km across from an altitude of about 5,000 km.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If there was ever a strip of land closest to the North Pole, then this place would have been it.’
    • ‘Handguns have been to the North Pole, the South Pole, and pretty much everywhere in between.’
    • ‘The logic of the correction was to visualise a human form straddling the celestial North Pole and orientated with his feet toward the ground.’
    • ‘In 1989, he became the first person to fly a helicopter solo, from the North Pole to the South Pole.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘Moreover, depending on the station's location relative to the pole and the season, it could be subject to extended periods of darkness.’
    • ‘The region stretched down from the southern pole with minor settlements reaching further out into the wilderness.’
    • ‘The icecap on the northern pole is much larger - about the size of Greenland - and comprised primarily of water ice.’
    • ‘The visible image shows the night side of the crescent Earth looking toward the South Pole.’
    • ‘During the Antarctic winter the South Pole becomes the coldest place on the planet.’
    • ‘Many thousands of cnidarian species live in the world's oceans, from the tropics to the poles, from the surface to the bottom.’
    • ‘It's all to do with what the North Pole and the South Pole are made up of.’
    • ‘Then solid land surfaced and from the top deck Langley could see the port of the only known town in the southern pole.’
    1. 1.1Geometry Either of the two points at which the axis of a sphere intersects its surface.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like the lines of longitude on Earth, each great circle eventually intersects with every other great circle at the poles of the 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.’
    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.
      • ‘He introduced the word pole in projective geometry.’
      • ‘Sturm's theoretical work in mathematical physics involved the study of caustic curves, and poles and polars of conic sections.’
      • ‘Hence, we can produce poles, polars, points, geodesics, angles, and so forth readily by converting back to the Poincare model.’
      • ‘His development of the pole and polar lines associated with conics led to the principle of duality.’
    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.’
      • ‘Kinetochore microtubule bundles link sister chromosomes to the poles.’
      • ‘Minus ends do not exhibit growth and are often stabilized by complexes such as the nucleation sites at centrosomes and spindle poles.’
      • ‘Drosophila embryonic spindles are amphiastral and thus centrosomes at the spindle poles play a critical role in their organization.’
      • ‘The PAS-protein stain revealed that the cells at the shoot pole have a dense cytoplasm.’
    4. 1.4 Each of the two opposite points on the surface of a magnet at which magnetic forces are strongest.
      • ‘Magnets are arranged with opposite poles to confine the particle beam.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The generation of a uniform stress field based on a magnetic trap with multiple poles was first reported in 1996.’
      • ‘They say that magnets of the same pole repel each other, but in this case it wasn't so.’
      • ‘Accountability to the Treasury is the opposite pole of the magnet to entrepreneurial spirit.’
      • ‘My eyes are just suddenly drawn towards the north and south poles of a magnet.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Marked terms show a polarity, like one pole of the magnet or one side of the coin.’
      • ‘By reversing the direction electricity flows through a magnet the poles can be reversed.’
      • ‘A magnetic monopole would be a magnet with only one pole.’
      • ‘You know how the same poles of a magnet repel & the opposite poles attract?’
      • ‘This attraction is similar to that of two opposite poles of a magnet.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
      • ‘He combines the oppositional poles to achieve points of view and review impossible from one or the other.’
      • ‘On other occasions the governments and their people were at opposite poles.’
      • ‘Logic, applied to conflict, is the equator between two often very opposite poles.’
      • ‘This shows how the current crisis distorts opinion, winding it tightly around opposite poles.’
      • ‘There are two diametrically opposing poles of opinion on this highly political and racially-charged issue.’
      • ‘In addition to their different fates, these two men were at opposite poles in their views of genetics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Weakness and strength are not at opposing poles, but are adjacent to each other separated by a sheet of paper.’
      • ‘After the fiery blast of energy that revitalized popular music-making, artists moved to the opposite pole.’
      • ‘These two prelates spoke from opposite poles of the church.’
      • ‘It's why I keep referring to sexuality as a spectrum: you have your pure heterosexuals and homosexuals as equal and opposite poles.’
      • ‘It will be noticed that ritual violence has two opposite poles: willful and uncontrolled violence.’
      • ‘This zero-degree photography embodied the opposite pole of the daguerreotype's infinite clarity.’
      • ‘This show suggested the presence of two opposing poles in Indonesia's fashion trends.’
      • ‘Two recent front page stories in this newspaper represent the poles of opinion on crime and punishment.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Although they are at opposite poles spiritually, they can come together in the physical man.’
      • ‘Environmentalists and farmers are currently at opposite poles.’
      • ‘Disputes are never easy, especially when both sides are quite literally on opposite poles on the issue.’
      extremity, extreme, limit
      View synonyms

Phrases

  • be poles apart

    • Have nothing in common.

      • ‘Given that politically, we are poles apart, there is quite a lot of common ground.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Far from the aesthetic and the ethical being poles apart, as Kierkegaard and Tolstoy insisted, the aesthetic is itself a quasi-moral project.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even their reactions to situations are poles apart.’
      • ‘In lifestyle and political values, they are poles apart.’
      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
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

pole

/pōl//poʊl/

Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3Pole4

pole3

noun

  • short for pole position
    • ‘In his first championship season he recorded five victories, four poles, and won more than $2 million.’
    • ‘At Michigan International Speedway, Unser won the pole while Luyendyk qualified second.’
    • ‘He started from the pole and captured the checkered flag driving a truck for Richard Childress.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In June, Andretti won from the pole again - this time on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.’
    • ‘Because of that, his 1999 total of seven wins, seven poles, and a sixth-place finish in points was considered something of a downer.’
    • ‘It was the first pole position for a rookie since Vitor Meira won the pole at Texas Motor Speedway in October 2002.’
    • ‘Along the way, he won 83 races - placing him fifth on the all-time list - and 70 poles.’
    • ‘Castroneves, also a Brazilian, was no slouch either, racing to three victories and three poles and finishing seventh in the points.’
    • ‘Blount won four races and five poles, finished second in the standings, and captured the ARCA Rookie of the Year Award.’
    • ‘Michael Schumacher secures the 47th pole of his career.’
    • ‘We got the pole in the last speedway race, so it's not like we're in left field anywhere.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The 22-year-old finished seventh in the standings last season, capturing two poles and five top-five finishes.’
    • ‘He also earned a total of five top - 10 finishes in 11 starts at Indy, plus the prestigious pole in 1990.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Green won three races and four poles in '99, finishing second to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the points standings.’
    • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

pole

/pōl//poʊl/

Main definitions of pole in English

: pole1pole2pole3Pole4

Pole4

noun

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

    • ‘The wartime memories of a Polish Jew and a non-Jewish Pole can still be bitterly contrasting.’
    • ‘In July he was arguing that the British should use their influence to make the Poles more amenable to German demands.’
    • ‘What about the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Italians, the Poles and the English.’
    • ‘When a goat goes missing, a French speaker blames the Pole (though at least, in this case, others step in and stop him).’
    • ‘Greeks, Yugoslavs and Poles were also concentrated in enclaves around the suburb.’
    • ‘Today there are three main minority ethnic groups in the city - Germans, Poles and Indians.’
    • ‘Listeners to the station heard shots and then an announcement in Polish that it was time for the Poles to attack Germany.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Smith feels that although Louis returned to Poland when he was just months old, the Pole and his mother intended to stay together.’
    • ‘Our films speak only to 40 million Poles in Poland and a few more millions abroad.’
    • ‘Right-wing renegades - an English-speaker and a Pole, rather than Afrikaners - were responsible.’
    • ‘Czechs, Poles and Slovenians are also expected to return to holidaying in Bulgaria.’
    • ‘Remarkably, the Poles were the first European team to qualify via the group stages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some of the German people were all of a sudden no longer Germans but Czechs or Poles.’
    • ‘A Pole and a German met in peace to discuss the will of God.’
    • ‘He fought against the Poles and the Turks and the Tartars, returning to Scotland in 1666.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

Pole

/poʊl//pōl/