Vote vs Poll - What's the difference?

vote | poll |

As nouns the difference between vote and poll

is that vote is a formalized choice on matters of administration or other democratic activities while poll is an election or a survey of a particular group of people or poll can be a pet parrot or poll can be (uk|dated|cambridge university) one who does not try for honors at university, but is content to take a degree merely; a passman.

As verbs the difference between vote and poll

is that vote is to cast a vote; to assert a formalised choice in an election while poll is to take, record the votes of (an electorate).

As a adjective poll is

(of kinds of livestock which typically have horns) bred without horns, and thus hornless.




(en noun)
  • A formalized choice on matters of administration or other democratic activities.
  • :
  • :
  • An act or instance of participating in such a choice, e.g., by submitting a ballot.
  • :
  • * (1809-1894)
  • *:The freeman casting with unpurchased hand / The vote that shakes the turrets of the land.
  • *
  • *:As a political system democracy seems to me extraordinarily foolish, but I would not go out of my way to protest against it. My servant is, so far as I am concerned, welcome to as many votes as he can get. I would very gladly make mine over to him if I could.
  • (label) An ardent wish or desire; a vow; a prayer.
  • :(Massinger)
  • Derived terms

    * donkey vote * conscience vote * free vote * get out the vote * informal vote * subvote * vote mob * whipped vote


  • To cast a vote; to assert a formalised choice in an election.
  • The depository may vote shares on behalf of investors who have not submitted instruction to the bank.
  • * F. W. Robertson
  • To vote' on large principles, to ' vote honestly, requires a great amount of information.

    Derived terms

    * voter * vote in * vote out * vote with one's feet

    See also

    * elect * nominate


    * ----



    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) pol, polle . Meaning "collection of votes" is first recorded 1625, from notion of "counting heads".

    Alternative forms

    * pol, pole


    (en noun)
  • An election or a survey of a particular group of people.
  • The student council had a poll to see what people want served in the cafeteria.
  • * Blackstone
  • All soldiers quartered in place are to remove and not to return till one day after the poll is ended.
  • A number or aggregate of heads; a list or register of individuals, especially electors.
  • * Shakespeare
  • We are the greater poll , and in true fear / They gave us our demands.
  • * Shakespeare
  • The muster file, rotten and sound, upon my life, amounts not to fifteen thousand poll .
  • (usually, as plural) A place where voters cast ballots.
  • The polls close at 8 p.m.
  • Hair
  • * 1883 ,
  • ...the doctor, as if to hear better, had taken off his powdered wig, and sat there, looking very strange indeed with his own close-cropped black poll .
  • The head, especially its top part.
  • * 1908 ,
  • And you might perceive the president and general manager, Mr. R. G. Atterbury, with his priceless polished poll , busy in the main office room dictating letters..
  • The broad or butt end of an axe or a hammer.
  • A fish, the pollard or European chub.
  • Synonyms
    * (election or survey) election, survey * (hair) hair
    Derived terms
    * opinion poll * polling * rolly polly * straw poll * tadpole


    (en verb)
  • To take, record the votes of (an electorate).
  • To solicit mock votes from (a person or group).
  • To vote at an election.
  • (Beaconsfield)
  • To register or deposit, as a vote; to elicit or call forth, as votes or voters.
  • He polled a hundred votes more than his opponent.
  • * Tickell
  • poll for points of faith his trusty vote
  • To cut off; to remove by clipping, shearing, etc.; to mow or crop.
  • to poll''' the hair; to '''poll''' wool; to '''poll grass
  • * Chapman
  • Who, as he polled' off his dart's head, so sure he had decreed / That all the counsels of their war he would ' poll off like it.
  • To cut the hair of (a creature).
  • * Bible, 2 Sam. xiv. 26
  • when he [Absalom] polled his head
  • * Sir T. North
  • His death did so grieve them that they polled themselves; they clipped off their horse and mule's hairs.
  • To remove the horns of (an animal).
  • To remove the top or end of; to clip; to lop.
  • to poll a tree
  • (transitive, computing, communication) To (repeatedly) request the status of something (such as a computer or printer on a network).
  • The network hub polled the department's computers to determine which ones could still respond.
  • (with adverb) To be judged in a poll.
  • * 2008 , Joanne McEvoy, The politics of Northern Ireland (page 171)
  • The election was a resounding defeat for Robert McCartney who polled badly in the six constituencies he contested and even lost his own Assembly seat in North Down.
  • (obsolete) To extort from; to plunder; to strip.
  • * Spenser
  • which polls and pills the poor in piteous wise
  • To impose a tax upon.
  • To pay as one's personal tax.
  • * Dryden
  • the man that polled but twelve pence for his head
  • To enter, as polls or persons, in a list or register; to enroll, especially for purposes of taxation; to enumerate one by one.
  • * Milton
  • polling the reformed churches whether they equalize in number those of his three kingdoms
  • (legal) To cut or shave smooth or even; to cut in a straight line without indentation.
  • a polled deed


  • (of kinds of livestock which typically have horns) Bred without horns, and thus hornless.
  • Poll Hereford
    Red Poll cows
  • * 1757 , The monthly review, or, literary journal , volume 17, page 416:
  • Sheep, that is, the Horned sort, and those without Horns, called Poll Sheep [...]
  • * 1960 , Frank O'Loghlen, Frank H. Johnston, Cattle country: an illustrated survey of the Australian beef cattle industry, a complete directory of the studs , page 85:
  • About 15000 cattle, comprising 10000 Hereford and Poll' Hereford, 4000 Aberdeen Angus and 1000 Shorthorn and ' Poll Shorthorn, are grazed [...]
  • * 1970 , The Pastoral review , volume 80, page 457:
  • Otherwise, both horned and poll sheep continue to be bred from an inner stud.

    Etymology 2

    Perhaps a shortening of (Polly), a common name for pet parrots.


    (en noun)
  • A pet parrot.
  • Etymology 3

    From (etyl)


    (en noun)
  • (UK, dated, Cambridge University) One who does not try for honors at university, but is content to take a degree merely; a passman.
  • See also

    * gentleman's C


    * English heteronyms ----