1. The casting and registering of votes in an election.
2. The number of votes cast or recorded.
a. The places where votes are cast and registered during an election, considered as a group: The polls close in this state at 8:00.
b. A place where votes are cast and registered: I went to the polls before work to cast a vote.
4. A survey of the public or of a sample of public opinion to acquire information.
5. The head, especially the top of the head where hair grows.
6. The blunt or broad end of a tool such as a hammer or axe.
v. polled, poll·ing, polls
1. To receive (a given number of votes).
2. To receive or record the votes of: polling a jury.
3. To cast (a vote or ballot).
4. To question in a survey; canvass.
5. To cut off or trim (hair, horns, or wool, for example); clip.
6. To trim or cut off the hair, wool, branches, or horns of: polled the sheep; polled the trees.
To vote at the polls in an election.
[Middle English pol, head, from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch.]
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.