November 06, 2012
poll (noun)
\POHL\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 a : the casting or recording of votes b : the place where votes are cast or recorded -- usually used in plural2 : a questioning of persons to obtain information or opinions
How do you use it?
Today is the day voters go to the polls to vote for the candidates they want to win in the election.
Are you a word wiz?

Before the word "poll" was used in the way it's defined here, it was used to refer to part of the body. Which part do you think it was?

You're headed in the right direction if you picked D. "Poll" comes from the Middle English word "pol" or "polle," meaning "head," and that's exactly what "poll" meant when it first came to be used in the 14th century. Scholars suggest that the use of "poll" in connection with voting came about as a result of the need to actually count individual votes, as opposed to determining a voice vote or some other collective vote. Each voter got one vote--that is, one vote per head. A similar meaning "poll" acquired along the way was "a unit or individual in a number," as in "a tax of ten dollars per poll."
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