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pole 1 (pōl)
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n.
1. Either extremity of an axis through a sphere.
2. Either of the regions contiguous to the extremities of the earth's rotational axis, the North Pole or the South Pole.
3. Physics See magnetic pole.
4. Electricity Either of two oppositely charged terminals, as in an electric cell or battery.
5. Astronomy See celestial pole.
6. Biology
a. Either extremity of the main axis of a nucleus, cell, or organism.
b. Either end of the spindle formed in a cell during mitosis.
c. The point on a nerve cell where a process originates.
7. Either of two antithetical ideas, propensities, forces, or positions.
8. A fixed point of reference.
9. Mathematics
a. The origin in a polar coordinate system; the vertex of a polar angle.
b. A point in the complex plane at which a given function is not defined.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin polus, from Greek polos, axis, sky; see kwel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
pole 2 (pōl)
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n.
1. A long, relatively slender, generally rounded piece of wood or other material.
2. The long tapering wooden shaft extending up from the front axle of a vehicle to the collars of the animals drawing it; a tongue.
3.
a. See rod.
b. A unit of area equal to a square rod.
4. Sports The inside position on the starting line of a racetrack: qualified in the time trials to start on the pole.
v. poled, pol·ing, poles
v.tr.
1.
a. To propel with a pole: boatmen poling barges up a placid river.
b. To propel (oneself) or make (one's way) by the use of ski poles: "We ski through the glades on corn snow, then pole our way over a long one-hour runout to a road" (Frederick Selby).
2. To support (plants) with a pole.
3. To strike, poke, or stir with a pole.
v.intr.
1. To propel a boat or raft with a pole.
2. To use ski poles to maintain or gain speed.

[Middle English, from Old English pāl, from Latin pālus, stake; see pag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
Pole (pōl)
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n.
1. A native or inhabitant of Poland.
2. A person of Polish ancestry.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

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