from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sheet of paper or a card used to cast or register a vote, especially a secret one.
  • n. The act, process, or method of voting, especially in secret.
  • n. A list of candidates running for office; a ticket.
  • n. The total of all votes cast in an election.
  • n. The right to vote; franchise.
  • n. A small ball once used to register a secret vote.
  • intransitive v. To cast a ballot; vote.
  • intransitive v. To draw lots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a paper or card used to cast a vote
  • n. the process of voting, especially in secret
  • n. a list of candidates running for office; a ticket
  • n. the total of all votes cast in an election
  • v. to vote
  • v. to draw lots

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Originally, a ball used for secret voting. Hence: Any printed or written ticket used in voting.
  • n. The act of secret voting, whether by balls, written or printed ballots or tickets, or by use of a voting machine; the system of voting secretly.
  • n. The whole number of votes cast at an election, or in a given territory or electoral district.
  • n. the official list of candidates competing in an election.
  • intransitive v. To vote or decide by ballot.
  • transitive v. To vote for or in opposition to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To decide upon a question, proposition, or candidacy by casting ballots; take a ballot or a vote by ballot: often with for in the sense of ‘in relation to’: as, to ballot for members of a club. See the noun.
  • To bound, as in the bore of a cannon: as, spherical projectiles ballot in the bore of the piece.
  • To select by lot; draw lots (for): as, to ballot for places.
  • To vote for or against by ballot; choose or elect by ballot.
  • To choose by lot; select by drawing lots for.
  • n. A little ball used in voting. Hence A ticket or slip of paper, sometimes called a voting-paper, used for the same purpose, on which is printed or written an expression of the elector's choice as between candidates or propositions to be voted for.
  • n. A method of secret voting by means of small balls, or of printed or written ballots, which are deposited in an urn or a box called a ballot-box.
  • n. A casting of ballots; a vote by ballot; also, the whole number of votes cast or recorded: as, a ballot was taken on the resolution; there was a large ballot.
  • n. A method of drawing lots by taking out small balls, or the like, from a box; hence, lot-drawing.
  • n. A small bale, weighing from 70 to 120 pounds.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a choice that is made by counting the number of people in favor of each alternative
  • v. vote by ballot
  • n. a document listing the alternatives that is used in voting


Italian ballotta, a small ball used to register a vote, diminutive of dialectal balla, ball, of Germanic origin; see bhel-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian ballotta, a small ball used to register a vote. Not voting. The ballota was a ball drawn from an urn to select at random, by lottery, a person for a role. (Wiktionary)



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  • heard my history teacher say that voting is important and to pay attentention to the ballot for correct voting

    October 31, 2010