1. A sheet of paper or a card used to cast or register a vote, especially a secret one.
2. The act, process, or method of voting, especially in secret.
3. A list of candidates running for office; a ticket.
4. The total of all votes cast in an election.
5. The right to vote; franchise.
6. A small ball once used to register a secret vote.
intr.v. bal·lot·ed, bal·lot·ing, bal·lots
1. To cast a ballot; vote.
2. To draw lots.
[Italian ballotta, a small ball used to register a vote, diminutive of dialectal balla, ball, of Germanic origin; see bhel-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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:
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.