Definition of poll in US English:



  • 1often the pollsThe process of voting in an election.

    ‘the country went to the polls on March 10’
    • ‘Such a defeat would further damage its chances of maintaining power at a national level when Indians go to the polls for general elections due by 2004.’
    • ‘But then one may ask, why only in localities that are headed for polls?’
    • ‘Fung said he has no idea who is behind the threats, and he does not believe they have anything to do with the September Legco election because the polls are still some time away.’
    • ‘Moreover, new members are now eligible to be nominated to run in general elections or party polls instead of having to wait for between two to five years.’
    • ‘Today, millions of Mexicans go to the polls in elections that - just possibly - could mark the first peaceful change of power that the nation has known.’
    • ‘Voters in the Papua New Guinea island of Bougainville have been going to the polls in the first elections for an autonomous government.’
    • ‘Soon the country will go to the polls at the general election.’
    • ‘No one was injured, but early reports of the blasts sent stocks down - as British voters overseas headed to the polls for parliamentary elections.’
    • ‘Persistent showers and overcast skies did not stop the people of Antigua and Barbuda from going to the polls in general elections on Tuesday.’
    • ‘Before you go to the polls for the upcoming general election, I ask every person to ponder these questions: What have the Liberals done for Canada?’
    • ‘Many of these machines will get their first test on March 2, Super Tuesday, when voters head to polls in ten states.’
    • ‘As Australia prepares to go to the polls for a general election on Saturday, Howard continues to defend his government's tough stance on asylum seekers.’
    • ‘In the meantime, despite the anorexic pickings currently being offered us, we still need to honor our duty as citizens by heading to the polls on Election Day.’
    • ‘For those not jaded by the whole process, the polls represent a chance to cast a verdict on Kim Dae Jung's achievements so far.’
    • ‘Today, there are problems because when those vying for offices fail to win the polls, then the elections have been rigged and the issue should be settled physically.’
    • ‘When the country goes to the polls in the European elections next month, will the voters make a conscious decision to choose someone they consider the best MEP?’
    • ‘However, Gordon anticipates success at the polls not only on election promises, but because of his character and personality.’
    • ‘The candidates will seek the black vote at the polls to advance through the primary elections.’
    • ‘Weeks of political campaigning comes to an end today as voters across the country go to the polls in the general election.’
    • ‘The survey of 250 shoppers was carried out during the city's 10-day Festival Europa and as the region prepares to go the polls in the European elections.’
    vote, ballot, show of hands, straw poll, straw vote, referendum, plebiscite, election
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    1. 1.1 A record of the number of votes cast in an election.
      • ‘Boxer Karunaratne topped the polls receiving 66,412 votes, obtaining a majority of over 14,000 votes over his closest rival.’
      • ‘Of the total who went to the polls 156 people spoiled their vote leaving a valid poll of 32,159.’
      • ‘Despite losing the election, Sinn Fein's Colm Burns was in buoyant mood, pointing to the fact he topped the polls at the first count.’
      • ‘As a result, he began to top the polls as preferred prime minister.’
      • ‘Blackie Gavin, who topped the polls at the last elections, reached the quota after the third count, needing just one vote after the second.’
      • ‘He bowed out of politics after receiving 1133 votes, his lowest poll in the four elections he fought over a nine year period.’
      • ‘Hahn and Villaraigosa have been running top in the polls at around 20-25 percent.’
      • ‘When it comes to dissatisfaction with levels of health and fitness, Dumfries and Galloway again tops the poll, according to Scottish Opinion.’
      voting figures, vote, returns, count, tally
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    2. 1.2the polls The places where votes are cast in an election.
      ‘the polls have only just closed’
      • ‘Dixville Notch takes advantage of a state election law that allows communities to close the polls after all registered voters have cast their ballots.’
      • ‘Volunteers work at the polls for every election.’
      • ‘In many recent elections the polls were open from 8am to 10 pm but yesterday the opening hours were 9am to 9pm.’
      • ‘In the elections nowadays, after the polls close, the ballot boxes are opened and ballots counted openly in front of any interested citizen who wants to attend.’
      • ‘But in Broward County tonight there was an attempt to stop those votes from counting once the polls closed.’
      • ‘At 17: 00 hours he made an announcement outside the Polling Station that the poll was closing.’
      • ‘With regard to Chipepa Polling Station, the poll closed 34 minutes before the gazetted time of 1700 hours.’
      • ‘Normally, it is possible to say with a high degree of certainty who has won a national election in Germany soon after the 6 p.m. closing of the polls on election day.’
      • ‘Final preparations are being made for the election with the polls scheduled to open at 11 p.m. Eastern time.’
      • ‘While all sides were fighting over whether the new registrants in Ohio were real, they turned up at the polls and election officials were unprepared.’
      • ‘About 500 voters had lined up before the polls opened, county Elections Supervisor Lynn Ledford estimated.’
      • ‘The turnout was much higher than expected as millions of Iraqis stood in lines to vote, sometimes braving insurgent fire to reach the polls and cast their ballots.’
      • ‘More problems are expected during the manual vote counting, which began shortly after the polls closed and could take days or weeks to complete.’
      • ‘He also said networks have to not call the election, that was one of the recommendations, not call the election before all the polls close nationwide.’
      • ‘That contact enabled the group to check off names from their voter registers so they would know who needed transportation to the polls later in the day.’
      • ‘Well, I succeeded in casting my vote that day, although the polls closed shortly thereafter and the primary was rescheduled.’
      • ‘Then we waited as precinct vote counts came in for six hours after the polls closed.’
      • ‘Many of the protesters had themselves been turned away from the polls on Election Day, after officials wrongly claimed they were not registered to vote.’
      • ‘Phone lines were bombarded with electronically generated calls, jamming lines set up for voters seeking rides to the polls on Election Day.’
      • ‘No postal votes will be counted until the polls close.’
    3. 1.3
      short for opinion poll
      • ‘Were the election called tomorrow, the polls suggest a narrow victory for the FF and PD government.’
      • ‘Even if a month out from the election the polls were to show National and Labour dead even, the smart money would probably still be on Labour for two reasons.’
      • ‘A top analyst last night claimed the polls showed Labour's lead over the Conservatives was in long-term decline.’
      • ‘According to the polls, a good majority of Australians wanted a republic.’
      • ‘He cites both the 1970 and 1992 elections, when the polls suggested a clear Labour lead, and the elections delivered surprise Tory victories.’
      • ‘He said people hoped for a fair election and the polls show that main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is up to 20% ahead.’
      • ‘The Popular Party led by Prime Minister José Maria Aznar is expected to win Sunday's general election although a poll taken a week ago showed the Socialists closing the gap.’
      • ‘David Winston, head of the Winston Group, which conducts Senate GOP polls, did not return phone calls seeking comment.’
      • ‘During the run-up to the 2004 election, polls indicated that the vast majority of the population condemned all forms of coercion.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the Liberals enjoy a substantial lead in the polls without having to bribe voters with their own money!’
      • ‘Generally the incumbent wins preferred PM, even if they're heading for a landslide loss and the voting intention polls point to that loss.’
      • ‘The majority of the polls published in the media are clear.’
      • ‘She's trailing in the polls approaching Election Day and the municipal tax base doesn't have the funds to cover the rising costs at local school boards.’
      • ‘Now comes the Workers' Party of Brazil, with a two-to-one lead in the polls for the presidential election to be held three months from now.’
      • ‘Well, I don't know about the P.R., but clearly from the polls, the majority of the Korean public wants us gone.’
      • ‘Even Winston Peters is heading the leader of the National Party in the polls at the moment.’
      • ‘Submit your comments or cast a vote in our poll below.’
      • ‘Vice President Gore moved into a lead in the polls after the Democratic convention, where he adopted the posture of a populist opponent of powerful corporate interests.’
      • ‘When I was a candidate, the polls said that the majority of New Jersey voters disagreed with my opposition to the death penalty.’
      • ‘He has a massive majority, and is well ahead in the polls, so voting against him would be a signal, nothing more.’
      survey, opinion poll, canvass, market research, sampling, census
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  • 2dialect A person's head.

    • ‘‘Come, Trueboy,’ said the man with the hat on his poll.’
    • ‘Peter scratched his poll and smiled feebly.’
    skull, cranium, crown
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    1. 2.1 The part of the head on which hair grows; the scalp.
      • ‘His head is crowned with a rough Shushah or tuft of hair on the poll; his face is of a dirty brown.’
      • ‘A favorite ‘fash’ (i.e., fashion) is to scrape off a parallelogram behind the head, from the poll to the cerebellum.’


[with object]
  • 1Record the opinion or vote of.

    ‘focus groups in which customers are polled about merchandise preferences’
    • ‘The survey, by Penguin Books, found that more than half the men polled believed that flattering a woman would be enough to impress her.’
    • ‘More than half of the firms polled believe that when the Government decided on the implementation of a definite policy and the conclusion of contracts, they tend to favour certain persons and companies.’
    • ‘After the vote was taken, they polled the kids to find out what they voted for - they were to write down their favourite subject rather than use the ballot.’
    • ‘Some of the advisers who are polled for their opinions use sentiment indicators when forecasting.’
    • ‘At that moment, if one polled the Promenaders, they would surely vote to restore the entire country to rough pasture and verdant meadows.’
    • ‘Those polled said their opinions were shaped by U.S. policies, rather than by values or culture.’
    • ‘Apparently we're going to be polled over the coming months and if the vote goes through the service will change in late 2006.’
    • ‘Only half of those polled believe a ban should be imposed, and among those who do, a large proportion believe pubs should be exempted.’
    • ‘Twenty-five of 43 students informally polled by the Peak said they did not intend to vote in the elections.’
    • ‘Sometimes, the results are even for all adults without even polling people who are registered to vote.’
    • ‘She tracks the success of the advertising by polling customers so she knows the ads are successful.’
    • ‘This year, nearly 11,000 business leaders were polled in a record 117 economies worldwide.’
    • ‘A random sample of 2,646 people across all regions of England, including the capital, was polled by Opinion Research Business.’
    • ‘Sirius is currently polling existing satellite radio customers to determine what content would sell well in vehicles.’
    • ‘To Paul's surprise all those polled expressed the same opinion.’
    • ‘But, it does illustrate the fact that little kids ‘vote’ like their parents when they are polled.’
    • ‘They may seem trivial to you, but think of it this way - if you could poll half a million people world wide each day as to what they thought the most important issue of the day was, wouldn't that be useful?’
    • ‘We polled plant breeders, seed sellers, and food scientists to learn what should go into a health-promoting vegetable garden.’
    • ‘Some companies are basing product development on polling consumers on their preferences in products, flavors, colors and other personal choices.’
    • ‘When only Democrats are polled, more than half report they feel that way.’
    canvass, survey, ask, question, interview, ballot, sample
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    1. 1.1no object, with adverbial (of a candidate in an election) receive a specified number of votes.
      ‘the Green candidate polled 3.6 percent’
      • ‘She added that she did not think the leaflets had stopped people voting for her because she polled a reasonable 479 votes in a safe Conservative seat.’
      • ‘But the votes polled by these two political parties in the state do not seem to suggest this.’
      • ‘His entry took the overall prize, having polled the most votes.’
      • ‘Having polled a commendable 5,468 first preferences votes in the recent general election, Cllr Browne is confident he is in a good position to take a senate seat.’
      • ‘He polled an excellent 20% of the public vote on his last live performance and was the second contestant through to the next round.’
      • ‘Even if 2,326 votes polled by Jammu State Morcha were to be added to the BJP tally, it added up to a measly 5,493.’
      • ‘Kevin Kelly of the Green Party polled a respectable 304 votes and as the count proper began some pundits offered him an outside chance of taking a seat.’
      • ‘This means that should you get say 20% of the vote at the election, you won't get 20% of the seats in Parliament, only those seats where you polled the most votes.’
      • ‘Kelly polled a magnificent 195 votes on the first count to complete one of the most comprehensive ever election successes at congress.’
      • ‘Keira has always been safe Labor, but last state election Martin did get a pretty sizeable chunk of the vote - he polled a fairly close second to Campbell, and should have given them a scare.’
      • ‘Deputy Mayor is to be Apu Bagchi, a likeable and genuine man who though he only polled some four thousand votes has a big following locally.’
      • ‘He polled twenty votes, beating Ian McMillan, the poet-in-residence for Barnsley FC.’
      • ‘Voting machines recorded no votes for James Cashman at all in one precinct, but in others he says he polled plenty of votes.’
      • ‘The vice president who polls the most votes may not necessarily get picked as the next deputy PM.’
      • ‘In the first round, it polled a million votes fewer than it had won in the local elections, but it was still on course for 118 seats, with the FLN at around twenty.’
      • ‘Moreover, doctors who polled the most votes at a recent GMC by-election included one once struck off for her attitude to patients and colleagues and another fined for carrying out surgery without consent.’
      • ‘He polled a magnificent 195 votes on the first count and completely blew his rivals out of the water.’
      • ‘At 1,242 votes, Councillor John Hall, who did not want to comment on the incident, polled the most support but only 12 votes ahead of his party colleague Nigel Anderton.’
      • ‘Despite all this, Jack McCann gained the most votes, polling an impressive 22,000.’
      • ‘Under the closed list system, the number of MEPs elected from each party should reflect the proportion of votes polled by each party.’
      get, gain, register, record, return
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  • 2Telecommunications Computing
    Check the status of (a measuring device, part of a computer, or a node in a network), especially as part of a repeated cycle.

    • ‘With serialized devices it should be possible to poll every compromised device on the Net just like using a traffic camera to catch drivers who run red lights.’
    • ‘A management system identifies conditions on the network by periodically polling the network devices or in response to a message from a network device.’
    • ‘With my PC and a Bluetooth card, I can poll all the Bluetooth devices in range, and listen out for any broadcasts they make.’
    • ‘Old and crude methods for this required the software to poll the device continuously for status and changes.’
    • ‘We must keep polling the device to keep it active.’
  • 3Cut the horns off (an animal, especially a young cow).

    • ‘As an added bonus, every Thunderhouse calf born to date has been polled!’
    • ‘She is polled and two out of the three kids each year have been polled.’
    • ‘All his calves have been polled.’
    1. 3.1archaic Cut off the top of (a tree or plant), typically to encourage further growth; pollard.
      • ‘Now the idiot Parson has polled them into wretched stumps.’
      • ‘The black poplar is frequently pollar'd when as big as one's arm, eight or nine foot from the ground, as they trim them in Italy, for their vines to serpent and twist on, and those they poll, or head every second year, sparing the middle, streight, and thrivingest shoot, and at the third year cut him also.’
      trim, snip, clip, crop, bob, barber, shear, shave
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Middle English (in the sense ‘head’): perhaps of Low German origin. The original sense was ‘head’, and hence ‘an individual person among a number’, from which developed the sense ‘number of people ascertained by counting of heads’ and then ‘counting of heads or of votes’ (17th century).