poll

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poll / pōl/ • n. 1. (often the polls) the process of voting in an election: the country went to the polls on March 10. ∎  a record of the number of votes cast in an election. ∎  (the polls) the places where votes are cast in an election: the polls have only just closed. ∎ short for opinion poll. 2. dial. a person's head. ∎  the part of the head on which hair grows; the scalp. • v. [tr.] 1. (often be polled) record the opinion or vote of: focus groups in which customers are polled about merchandise preferences. ∎  [intr.] (of a candidate in an election) receive a specified number of votes: the Green candidate polled 3.6 percent. ∎  Telecommunications & Comput. check the status of (a measuring device, part of a computer, or a node in a network), esp. as part of a repeated cycle. 2. cut the horns off (an animal, esp. a young cow). ∎  archaic cut off the top of (a tree or plant), typically to encourage further growth; pollard. DERIVATIVES: poll·ee / pōˈlē/ n. (sense 1 of the verb ).

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poll the process of voting in an election. The word is recorded from Middle English in the sense ‘head’, and hence ‘an individual person among a number’, from which developed the sense ‘number of people ascertained by counting of heads’ and then ‘counting of heads or of votes’ (17th century).
poll tax a tax levied on every adult, without reference to their income or resources. Poll taxes have often been extremely unpopular because they weigh disproportionately heavily on poorer people. Such taxes were levied in England in 1377, 1379, and 1380; the last of these is generally regarded as having contributed to the 1381 Peasants' Revolt. From the mid 1980s, the term was used informally for the community charge, a usage which reflected the tax's deep unpopularity.

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Poll var. of and contemp. with POLLY XVII (Pall), as proper name of a parrot; alt. of Moll (XVI); see MOLL.

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poll1
A. human head XIII;

B. counting by heads, (hence) of votes XVII. perh. of Du. or LG. orig. (cf. obs. Du., LG. polle).
Hence poll vb. cut short, cut off the hair of XIII (pp. pollid); cut off the head or top of XVI; count heads, record votes XVII.

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poll2 in poll deed, deed poll, legal writing polled or cut even at the edge (not indented). XVI. orig. for pold, polled, pp. of poll vb. (see prec.).

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poll See OPINION POLLS.