hornless, especially genetically hornless, as the Aberdeen Angus.
Obsolete. having the hair cut off.

Origin of polled

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at poll1, -ed2
Related formswell-polled, adjective




a sampling or collection of opinions on a subject, taken from either a selected or a random group of persons, as for the purpose of analysis.
Usually polls. the place where votes are taken.
the registering of votes, as at an election.
the voting at an election.
the number of votes cast.
the numerical result of the voting.
an enumeration or a list of individuals, as for purposes of taxing or voting.
a person or individual in a number or list.
the head, especially the part of it on which the hair grows.
the back of the head.
the rear portion of the head of a horse; the nape.
the part of the head between the ears of certain animals, as the horse and cow.
the broad end or face of a hammer.

verb (used with object)

to take a sampling of the attitudes or opinions of.
to receive at the polls, as votes.
to enroll (someone) in a list or register, as for purposes of taxing or voting.
to take or register the votes of (persons).
to deposit or cast at the polls, as a vote.
to bring to the polls, as voters.
to cut short or cut off the hair, wool, etc., of (an animal); crop; clip; shear.
to cut short or cut off (hair, wool, etc.).
to cut off the top of (a tree); pollard.
to cut off or cut short the horns of (cattle).

verb (used without object)

to vote at the polls; give one's vote.

Origin of poll

1250–1300; Middle English polle (hair of the) head < Middle Low German: hair of the head, top of a tree or other plant; akin to Danish puld, Swedish pull crown of the head
Related formspoll·a·ble, adjectivepoll·er, nounre·poll·ing, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polled

Contemporary Examples of polled

Historical Examples of polled

  • In 1768, eighteen votes were polled for one candidate and sixteen for his rival.

  • The party which elected Lincoln in 1860 polled only seven thousand votes in 1840.

    How to Succeed

    Orison Swett Marden

  • Six hundred and seventy-four votes were polled for this ticket.

    The Story of the Mormons

    William Alexander Linn

  • It retained its organization, however, and in 1864 polled a large vote.

    The Sequel of Appomattox

    Walter Lynwood Fleming

  • The anti-Kittites polled twenty-seven, and Mr. Hawkins' nominee fourteen.

    Cornish Characters

    S. Baring-Gould

British Dictionary definitions for polled



(of animals, esp cattle) having the horns cut off or being naturally hornless
archaic shorn of hair; bald



the casting, recording, or counting of votes in an election; a voting
the result or quantity of such a votinga heavy poll
Also called: opinion poll
  1. a canvassing of a representative sample of a large group of people on some question in order to determine the general opinion of the group
  2. the results or record of such a canvassing
any counting or enumerationa poll of the number of men with long hair
short for poll tax
a list or enumeration of people, esp for taxation or voting purposes
the striking face of a hammer
the occipital or back part of the head of an animal

verb (mainly tr)

to receive (a vote or quantity of votes)he polled 10 000 votes
to receive, take, or record the votes ofhe polled the whole town
to canvass (a person, group, area, etc) as part of a survey of opinion
mainly US to take the vote, verdict, opinion, etc, individually of each member (of a jury, conference, etc)
(sometimes intr) to cast (a vote) in an election
computing (in data transmission when several terminals share communications channels) to check each channel rapidly to establish which are free, or to call for data from each terminal in turn
to clip or shear
to remove or cut short the horns of (cattle)

Word Origin for poll

C13 (in the sense: a human head) and C17 (in the modern sense: a counting of heads, votes): from Middle Low German polle hair of the head, head, top of a tree; compare Swedish pull crown of the head
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for polled



"head," early 14c., polle "hair of the head; piece of fur from the head of an animal," also "head," from Middle Low German or Middle Dutch pol "head, top." Sense extended early 14c. to "person, individual." Meaning "collection of votes" is first recorded 1620s, from notion of "counting heads;" meaning "survey of public opinion" is first recorded 1902. Poll tax, literally "head tax," is from 1690s. Literal use in English tends toward the part of the head where the hair grows.



"to take the votes of," 1620s, from poll (n.). Related: Polled; polling. A deed poll "deed executed by one party only," is from earlier verbal meaning "cut the hair of," because the deed was cut straight rather than indented (see indent).



"to cut, trim," late 14c., "to cut short the hair" (of an animal or person), from poll (n.). Of trees or plants from 1570s. Related: Polled; polling.


fem. proper name, short for Polly. Noted from 1620s as a parrot's name.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper