Definition of vote in English:



  • 1A formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands.

    • ‘Anyone who votes for this act should not deserve our votes in the general election.’
    • ‘Voters will have two votes on their ballot paper - one to vote for or against a regional assembly and the other to decide on the restructuring of local government.’
    • ‘All you are talking about changing is in the region of five to ten votes per ballot box and that's what it will come down to.’
    • ‘Citizens cast their votes for candidates on the ballot.’
    • ‘He is likely to secure some votes in almost every ballot box in the county and could be over 3,000 when the tallies are done.’
    • ‘In manually counted elections, people can observe the votes from each ballot box being counted.’
    • ‘At the recent elections seven candidates polled around 5,200 votes and came second in two seats.’
    • ‘With 363 voted, he was just thirteen short of the quota and was elected on the second count with votes to spare.’
    • ‘At the last general election in 2001 he had a majority of 4,275 votes over the Conservative candidate.’
    • ‘In 1952, the Republican Eisenhower got 56% of the votes in the general election.’
    • ‘Election staffers did not notice the huge disparity between ballots cast and valid votes until two days after Election Day.’
    • ‘An astonishing majority of Scottish voters cast their vote for candidates and parties running on pro-European tickets.’
    • ‘The simple system in which each voter gives a single vote to their favourite candidate can also lead to tactical voting.’
    • ‘In London people will get three ballot papers and five votes on 10 June.’
    • ‘The 275 MPs will cast their votes by secret ballot.’
    • ‘People must sign the declaration attached to the ballot paper or their vote will not be valid.’
    • ‘Twelve MPs attended the meeting and four who were unable to be there sent votes by secret ballot.’
    • ‘His party candidate polled over 400 votes in the last election, which is higher than the current victory margin.’
    • ‘The state is reporting that more than 500,000 people have cast their votes via absentee ballots.’
    • ‘He garnered 296 votes in a ballot of 300 members of the election committee, with one member not showing up.’
    ballot, poll, election, referendum, plebiscite, public vote, general election, local election, popular vote, straw poll, show of hands
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    1. 1.1An act of giving or registering a vote.
      ‘they are ready to put it to a vote’
      • ‘When an offer was made, even though the union considered it to be an insult, the union did not put it to a vote.’
      • ‘Okay, let's put it to a vote: Do we want to change the coverage, or keep it the same and dig deeper into our pockets?’
      • ‘At the time we said we'd draw up a shortlist and put it to a vote.’
      • ‘They called unanimously for a strike vote and ballot papers have now gone out.’
      • ‘But she added the vote was secret because ballot papers are locked away until they are counted on June 10.’
      • ‘But a nationalist boycott of the vote resulted in an overwhelming rejection of union with the republic.’
      • ‘However, the changes are unlikely to be put to the vote before the parliamentary elections in June.’
      • ‘I was going to post something, but couldn't decide between a possible four posts so I thought I'd put it to a vote.’
      • ‘The House held four plenary sessions debating the issue before it put it to a vote on Monday.’
    2. 1.2The choice expressed collectively by a body of electors or by a specified group.
      ‘the nationalist vote in Northern Ireland’
      • ‘But their share of the vote at 32 per cent had barely altered from that of the two previous elections.’
      • ‘At least a 60 per cent share of the vote was needed to effect any change.’
      • ‘With 680,000 members and a 21 percent share of the vote, it was the largest Italian party at the time.’
      • ‘He won a big majority on a low share of the vote in 1997 and enjoyed another landslide three years ago on a very low turnout.’
      • ‘He won the election with 52 per cent of the vote - the biggest election victory in the history of the club.’
      • ‘As a result our share of the vote dropped and we lost one of our six Westminster seats.’
      • ‘The decision will be put by referendum to the vote of electors in the different regions.’
      • ‘Crucially though, they failed to significantly increase their share of the vote.’
      • ‘For the first time ever in a federal election, the Green Party won a significant share of the vote.’
      • ‘The runner-up spot would be an undreamed of triumph for the Tories, but probably her best hope is for a significantly increased share of the vote.’
      • ‘Labour attracted its lowest share of the vote since 1935, and the Conservatives attained a majority of 144.’
      • ‘He said he was pleased his share of the vote went up 1,500.’
      • ‘He and the other independent between them got 65 per cent of the vote as the electorate gave two fingers to party politics.’
      • ‘The Tory share of the vote increased by only 1%, but they are undoubtedly back in business.’
      • ‘We were the only major party to increase our share of the vote and I believe that our positive and non-sectarian attitude was the reason.’
      • ‘Voting will be by means of proportional representation with the number of seats a political party gets corresponding to its overall share of the vote.’
      • ‘That result puts Labour back in office with the lowest share of the vote in British electoral history.’
      • ‘Despite some state suppression, it gained 17 per cent of the vote in the 1937 elections.’
      • ‘But it did win significant shares of the vote in some of the 120 constituencies where it put up a candidate.’
      • ‘Its share of the vote is back to where it was in the 2004 local elections, and from which it went on to win the following year's general election.’
    3. 1.3The right to register a choice in an election.
      • ‘A bill to give women the vote in local elections was introduced into the French parliament in 1906, but was promptly defeated.’
      • ‘In 1928, all women were given the vote, thus creating universal suffrage.’
      • ‘This act, which redistributed the parliamentary seats and more than doubled the electorate, gave the vote to many working men in the towns.’
      • ‘In 1906, Finland became the first nation to give women the vote in national elections.’
      • ‘One of the guests seemed to say that if women hadn't had the vote every election since World War II would have been won by the Labour Party.’
      suffrage, franchise, enfranchisement, right to vote, voting rights
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  • 1 Give or register a vote.

    ‘they voted against the resolution’
    [with complement] ‘I voted Labour’
    • ‘So of course city-dwellers voted for someone who promised more government welfare.’
    • ‘All this will happen, of course, after the voting has taken place and the result has been declared.’
    • ‘As far as I was concerned I would be registered to vote at the next election.’
    • ‘This sounds idealistic, of course, but voting isn't something that should take one day.’
    • ‘Then the whole Senate votes for or against confirmation.’
    • ‘So they accompanied us, even though of course they couldn't vote.’
    • ‘Finally, the Legislature will vote to pass the entire budget lock, stock and barrel.’
    • ‘If a recall motion is submitted, the legislature must vote on it within 15 days.’
    • ‘New voters who register close to election day are more likely to vote than voters who registered a year or so before the election.’
    • ‘It is not a criminal offence to vote as you wish in a democratic society.’
    • ‘The Council consulted him and discussed legislative projects, while the Senate voted on those projects.’
    • ‘I wasn't registered to vote in Liverpool, where I was a student.’
    • ‘Two-thirds of each house of the state legislature must then vote for it, and the governor then sign it.’
    • ‘People vote for their elected leaders, of course, but they vote for lawmakers to make laws.’
    • ‘A direct initiative is where registered voters vote on the proposal put forward.’
    • ‘I am looking forward with interest to see how the Government votes tonight.’
    • ‘Voters will be able to vote before normal polling day.’
    • ‘An indirect initiative is where the state legislature will vote on the proposal put forward.’
    • ‘If you're only thinking ideologically, of course you vote for the incumbent of your own party.’
    • ‘This was despite a record of 13 million new voters registering to vote in 1992.’
    go to the polls, cast one's vote, mark one's ballot paper
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    1. 1.1[with object and adverbial or complement]Cause (someone) to gain or lose a particular post or honour by means of a vote.
      ‘incompetent judges are voted out of office’
      • ‘For many Americans, the answer to that question was no, and incumbent President Jimmy Carter was voted out of office.’
      • ‘The people will vote you in because you are the one making a difference in their lives.’
      • ‘Members may well argue that we are voted in on the basis of support for our party.’
      • ‘If he went on like this, he was in danger of being in the toilet when he was voted in as Taoiseach.’
      • ‘If the people vote him in, and he wins the referendum they will be big celebrations all over the country.’
      • ‘It was not good for local government when people were voted back in by default, she said.’
      • ‘With term limits, you get only one chance to vote someone out of office.’
      • ‘After Labour went into opposition in 1970, she was even voted off the shadow cabinet.’
      • ‘Here's a tip: when someone starts whining about wanting to be voted out, vote him out!’
      • ‘She does not face the possibility of impeachment, nor may she be voted out of office.’
      • ‘He was eventually voted out of office in 1990, beaten by a US-backed candidate.’
      • ‘The people vote you in to lead, provide the leadership and they will follow.’
      • ‘They may blame the failure on officials but frustrated commuters aren't going to vote civil servants out of office.’
      • ‘It is time that these politicians were voted out and replaced by those accountable to the people.’
      • ‘The greater question is why we continue to vote people into office on platforms that allow this to happen.’
      • ‘He has also hinted that if he is voted into office he may default on Turkey's large public-sector debt.’
      • ‘They voted us to be here in this building, in Parliament, to be their voice.’
      • ‘I don't think American citizens have the power to vote someone in who will do the right thing.’
      • ‘The teachers also vote a member of staff onto the council.’
      • ‘He said that if people did not like the way their elected ‘sheriff’ ran the force, they could vote him out of office.’
      depose, oust, push out, turn out, remove from office, remove from power, unseat, dethrone, displace, dismiss, discharge, dislodge, eject, cashier
      boot out, kick out, drum out, give someone the boot, defenestrate
      turf out
      elect, return, put in power, select, choose, pick, adopt, appoint, designate, opt for, plump for, decide on, settle on, fix on
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    2. 1.2informal [with clause]Used to express a wish to follow a particular course of action.
      ‘I vote we have one more game’
      suggest, propose, recommend, advocate, move, table, submit
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    3. 1.3[with object](of a legislature) grant or confer by vote.
      ‘Parliament has voted the money for the proposed expenditure’
      • ‘Therefore it would be unseemly for Parliament to vote money for a member of the royal family.’
      • ‘In 1856 the South Australian government had voted a sum of money to help in the search for gold.’
    4. 1.4[with object]Reject something by means of a vote.
      ‘the referendum call was voted down’
      • ‘The Minister and her colleagues voted that bill down.’
      • ‘I say we should put this issue to a referendum, because I believe that the people would vote it down.’
      • ‘It will vote the bill down, and that is a disgrace.’
      • ‘This October, the entire region will be given the chance to endorse the assembly plans or vote them down in a referendum.’
      • ‘Even if the commission unanimously recommends such a tax, Congress will vote it down.’
      • ‘It did not however spell out a timetable for giving the public the right to elect the territory's leader and lawmakers, and unconvinced opposition lawmakers have vowed to vote it down in the legislature.’
      • ‘It could have voted the legislation down, if it had wanted to.’
      • ‘The union signaled its prostration before management by organizing department assemblies at which officials warned autoworkers that if they voted the plan down, management would sack 3,000 workers.’
      • ‘This is very bad legislation and we ought to vote it down.’
      • ‘Clearly it will be voted down by this House, and we think that that is a shame.’
      • ‘There was loud applause and cheering when it was voted down.’
      • ‘We will give them another chance to vote the bill down.’
      • ‘I thought he was going to stand up and vote it down.’
      • ‘If she does, she will vote this bill down, as would any other member of the Government who has the courage of his or her convictions on this issue.’
      • ‘By the time the Club's membership had voted the measure down, a lot of participants were embittered and the environmental movement was tarnished in the eyes of many onlookers.’
      • ‘The membership handily voted it down, but the very fact that the union bureaucracy has introduced the proposal signifies that it is laying the groundwork for an outright surrender…’
      • ‘But the amendment was voted down when it went to the state legislatures.’
      • ‘We provided the Government with the opportunity to vote for the very wording that is in the Sentencing Act, designed to make judges use the full scale of available sentences, and this Government voted that amendment down.’
      • ‘I was very hopeful that the Government would see fit to introduce concepts like shared parenting, like a proper open Family Court, and I have been disappointed to see that the Government has voted those amendments down.’
      • ‘The task will be to get the highest possible numbers of council workers participating to vote the offer down by an absolutely huge majority.’
      veto, defeat, vote down, rule against, reject, throw out, overrule, stop, block, put a stop to, put an end to, quash, overturn, disallow
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  • vote of confidence

    • A vote showing that a majority continues to support the policy of a leader or governing body.

      • ‘Dissolution may be sought when the government loses a vote of confidence or its majority is threatened by split or defection.’
      • ‘His vigorous economic and foreign policy has received a solid vote of confidence.’
      • ‘It deserves a vote of confidence from investors and political leaders alike.’
      • ‘He also secured the continuation of his government through a vote of confidence.’
      • ‘He was not resigning and would instead table a vote of confidence in parliament on Thursday.’
      • ‘The Cabinet was announced Sunday and is to face a parliamentary vote of confidence tomorrow.’
      • ‘My alternative suggestion was that he should initiate a vote of confidence from the Parliamentary Party.’
      • ‘Votes on items such as the budget are legitimately votes of confidence in the government and party discipline should prevail.’
      • ‘A majority of 211 is a pretty convincing vote of confidence, in my humble opinion.’
  • vote of no confidence (or vote of censure)

    • A vote showing that a majority does not support the policy of a leader or governing body.

      ‘he was removed from office following an overwhelming vote of no confidence’
      • ‘Opposition parties must find 276 votes to overthrow the Government in a vote of no confidence.’
      • ‘The leaders of the opposition parties hinted at possible votes of no confidence against the Government.’
      • ‘He quit following a vote of no confidence by the student body.’
      • ‘Only 25 of them are needed to trigger a vote of no confidence in the leader.’
      • ‘They are subject to frequent votes of no confidence, and government leadership changes frequently as a result.’
      • ‘He predicts that the demonstrations will reach their peak in two months and force the government to face a vote of no confidence in parliament.’
      • ‘The Labour Party is expected to call for a vote of no confidence in parliament this coming week, although it is unlikely to win.’
      • ‘There is support for a vote of no confidence in the union's national executive, triggering new elections.’
      • ‘Opposition parties are debating whether to request a vote of no confidence in the Government over its handling of crime.’
      • ‘Talks resumed today after parliament passed a vote of no confidence in the government.’
  • vote someone/thing off the island

    • informal Dismiss or reject someone or something as unsatisfactory.

      ‘when a CEO gets voted off the island, the CFO typically gets dumped, too’
      • ‘In the corporate world, when a CEO gets voted off the island, or even ships out voluntarily, the CFO typically gets dumped, too.’
      • ‘Pitifully, I was the second co-op to get voted off the island.’
      • ‘If sports were a reality show, there would be a lot of people I'd vote off the island, starting with the ones who yell, "I got it!"’
      • ‘The Panasonic had many great qualities, and was a perfect fit in our new corner entertainment unit, but alas, it too was voted off the island, for reasons I'll describe shortly.’
      • ‘With just 13 weeks before the first votes, the nine survivors of Primary '04 (Florida Senator Bob Graham was voted off the island on Oct. 6) must show that they have the financial heft to take on President Bush.’
      • ‘'It wasn't just attrition,' says a former board member. 'You left because Kevin voted you off the island.'’
      • ‘The disputes erupted into a near fistfight at the Golden Globe awards, where one of The Aviator's four producers, barged into the winners ' photo backstage, even though he had been summarily voted off the island by the other three.’
      • ‘As a media personality and professor he is safely ensconced in a system that can never vote him off the island.’
      • ‘I asked Daughter what she thought of our homegrown dictator and she said, "You all really need to vote her off the island."’
      • ‘I think the company did almost get voted off the island.’
  • vote with one's feet

    • informal Indicate an opinion by being present or absent.

      ‘the East Germans voted with their feet in an irresistible move towards freedom’
      • ‘Shoppers and visitors appear to be voting with their feet to desert town centre shopping in favour of the big complexes where parking is free.’
      • ‘The minister said by voting with their feet, parents had indicated there were severe problems which needed to be addressed.’
      • ‘They are voting with their feet by not going to the ballot box because they don't feel there's anything to vote for.’
      • ‘As our pay falls, staff are voting with their feet and going to work elsewhere.’
      • ‘And so far fans seem to be voting with their feet.’
      • ‘A spokesman added: ‘People are voting with their feet by not using the bus station.’’
      • ‘He said Ireland's high class sizes and lack of support for children with behavioural problems meant teaching is an increasingly stressful job and teachers were voting with their feet.’
      • ‘I'll be voting with my feet and boycotting the contest.’
      • ‘Swindon people are voting with their feet and avoiding the town centre if at all possible.’
      • ‘The people were voting with their feet and their dollars.’


Late Middle English: from Latin votum a vow, wish, from vovere to vow. The verb dates from the mid 16th century.