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Pole vs. Poll

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3:49 min read
  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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The director promised to strike the poll in the ground if the results of the pole were in his favor.

Pole and poll are very common and widely used words of English language and you must have been using them in your essays and speech all your life. But did you know that they are homophones of each other? Yes they are! As the pronunciation of poll and pole is very similar and there is only a small difference in their spellings, you won’t deny of confusing one for the other in your English essay, yes? For beginners of English language, words like these are a main source of misunderstanding as their use is often replaced by their homophone.

In this article we will discuss the meaning, usage and origin of both of these words along with their examples and differences so that next time you have to write up that essay you nail it.


Pole originated from late Old English pāl (in early use without reference to thickness or length), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch paal and German Pfahl, based on Latin palus ‘stake’. Poll originated from Middle English of Low German origin. The original sense was ‘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).

Pole as noun:

Pole is mostly used as a noun in English language where it means a long, slender, rounded piece of wood or metal, typically used with one end placed in the ground as a support for something.

They were supposed to bring a suitable tent pole along with the tent.

A long, slender, flexible rod of wood or fibreglass used by a competitor in pole-vaulting is also a pole. Pole is also defined as a young tree with a straight slender trunk and no lower branches.

New poles should be protected from grazing livestock.

Pole also refers a wooden shaft fitted to the front of a cart or carriage drawn by animals and attached to their yokes or collars. Simply, a fishing rod is sometimes also called pole.

They tell you on the tin that their tuna is entirely caught with pole and line.

Pole is either of the two locations (North Pole or South Pole) on the surface of the earth (or of a celestial object) which are the northern and southern ends of the axis of rotation. In geometry, either of the two points at which the axis of a circle cuts the surface of a sphere is pole or a fixed point to which other points or lines are referred, e.g. the origin of polar coordinates or the point of which a line or curve is a polar. One of two opposed or contradictory principles or ideas is also known as pole.

Miriam and Rebecca represent two poles in the argument about transracial adoption.

Poll as noun:

Poll is used as a noun in English language where it refers to the process of voting in an election.

Pole vs. Poll

The country went to the polls on March 10.

The number of votes cast in an election or the places where votes are cast in an election are also called poles.

The polls have only just closed.

Opinion poll is sometimes also regarding as poll.

They may conduct a poll to investigate whether people enjoyed their holidays.

Poll as verb:

To record the opinion or vote of someone is called a poll.

Over half of those polled do not believe the prime minister usually tells the truth.

The specified number of votes a candidate receives in an election are also his poll.

The Green candidate polled 3.6 per cent.


A Native American tribe has sent a 22-foot-long, intricately carved totem pole on a journey through the Pacific Northwest to draw attention to proposed coal export terminals they said would endanger not only their traditional way of life, but also threatens to pollute the region’s pristine waters which serve as a salmon habitat. (Aljazeera America)

Catch me if you can! Watch cheeky squirrel drives a cat nuts as it keeps just out of claws’ reach on telegraph pole (The Daily Mail)

A major annual poll conducted by Gallup indicates that American parents are increasingly dissatisfied with the reliance on standardized testing in American schools. (The Daily Caller)

46 per cent voting in Bengaluru civic corporation poll was carried out in a peaceful manner barring stray cases of heated arguments by cadres and supporters of rival political parties (India Today)

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