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

  • n. Either extremity of an axis through a sphere.
  • n. Either of the regions contiguous to the extremities of the earth's rotational axis, the North Pole or the South Pole.
  • n. Physics A magnetic pole.
  • n. Electricity Either of two oppositely charged terminals, as in an electric cell or battery.
  • n. Astronomy A celestial pole.
  • n. Biology Either extremity of the main axis of a nucleus, cell, or organism.
  • n. Biology Either end of the spindle formed in a cell during mitosis.
  • n. Biology The point on a nerve cell where a process originates.
  • n. Either of two antithetical ideas, propensities, forces, or positions: "the moral poles of modern medicine: on the one hand, a tinkering with procreation with at best ambiguous, at worst monstrous moral possibilities. On the other hand, scientific skill and cunning unambiguously in the service of hope” ( Charles Krauthammer).
  • n. A fixed point of reference.
  • n. Mathematics The origin in a polar coordinate system; the vertex of a polar angle.
  • n. A long, relatively slender, generally rounded piece of wood or other material.
  • n. The long tapering wooden shaft extending up from the front axle of a vehicle to the collars of the animals drawing it; a tongue.
  • n. See rod.
  • n. A unit of area equal to a square rod.
  • n. Sports The inside position on the starting line of a racetrack: qualified in the time trials to start on the pole.
  • transitive v. To propel with a pole: boatmen poling barges up a placid river.
  • transitive v. To propel (oneself) or make (one's way) by the use of ski poles: "We ski through the glades on corn snow, then pole our way over a long one-hour runout to a road” ( Frederick Selby).
  • transitive v. To support (plants) with a pole.
  • transitive v. To strike, poke, or stir with a pole.
  • intransitive v. To propel a boat or raft with a pole.
  • intransitive v. To use ski poles to maintain or gain speed.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Originally, a stick; now specifically, a long and slender piece of metal or (especially) wood, used for various construction or support purposes.
  • n. A type of basic fishing rod.
  • n. A long fiberglass sports implement used for pole vaulting.
  • n. A telescope used to identify birds, aeroplanes or wildlife.
  • n. A unit of length, equal to a perch (¼ chain or 5½ yards).
  • n. Short for pole position
  • v. To propel by pushing with poles, to push with a pole.
  • v. To identify something quite precisely using a telescope.
  • n. Either of the two points on the earth's surface around which it rotates; also, similar points on any other rotating object.
  • n. A point of magnetic focus, especially each of the two opposing such points of a magnet (designated north and south).
  • n. A fixed point relative to other points or lines.
  • n. A contact on an electrical device (such as a battery) at which electric current enters or leaves.
  • n. (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) One of a set of isolated points a for which the meromorphic function approaches infinity as z approaches a, such that is holomorphic on all points except its poles.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A native or inhabitant of Poland; a Polander.
  • n. A long, slender piece of wood; a tall, slender piece of timber; the stem of a small tree whose branches have been removed. (b) A flag pole, a pole on which a flag is supported. (c) A Maypole. See Maypole. (d) A barber's pole, a pole painted in stripes, used as a sign by barbers and hairdressers. (e) A pole on which climbing beans, hops, or other vines, are trained.
  • n. A measuring stick; also, a measure of length equal to 5� yards, or a square measure equal to 30� square yards; a rod; a perch.
  • n. Either extremity of an axis of a sphere; especially, one of the extremities of the earth's axis.
  • n. A point upon the surface of a sphere equally distant from every part of the circumference of a great circle; or the point in which a diameter of the sphere perpendicular to the plane of such circle meets the surface. Such a point is called the pole of that circle
  • n. One of the opposite or contrasted parts or directions in which a polar force is manifested; a point of maximum intensity of a force which has two such points, or which has polarity
  • n. The firmament; the sky.
  • n. See Polarity, and Polar, n.
  • transitive v. To furnish with poles for support.
  • transitive v. To convey on poles.
  • transitive v. To impel by a pole or poles, as a boat.
  • transitive v. To stir, as molten glass, with a pole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with poles for support: as, to pole beans.
  • To bear or convey on poles.
  • To impel by means of a pole, as a boat; push forward by the use of poles.
  • In copper-refining, to stir with a pole.
  • To use a pole; push or impel a boat with a pole.
  • An obsolete spelling of poll.
  • n. A long, slender, tapering piece of wood, such as the trunk of a tree of any size, from which the branches have been cut; a piece of wood (or metal) of much greater length than thickness, especially when more or less rounded and tapering.
  • n. Specifically— A rod used in measuring.
  • n. In a two-horse vehicle, a long tapering piece of wood, forming the shaft or tongue, carrying the neck-yoke or the pole-straps, and sometimes the whiffletrees, by means of which the carriage is drawn.
  • n. A fishing-rod.
  • n. A bean-pole or hop-pole.
  • n. A ship's mast.
  • n. A perch or rod, a measure of length containing 16½ feet or 5½ yards; also, a measure of surface, a square pole denoting 5½ × 5½ yards, or 30¼ square yards.
  • n. A flatfish, Pleuronectes or Glyptocephalus cynoglossus, also called pole-dab.
  • n. That part of the sperm-whale's lower jaw which holds the teeth. See pan, 12.
  • n. One of the two points in which the axis of the earth produced cuts the celestial sphere; the fixed point about which (on account of the revolution of the earth) the stars appear to revolve. These points are called the poles of the world, or the celestial poles.
  • n. Either of the two points on the earth's surface in which it is cut by the axis of rotation.
  • n. In general, a point on a sphere equally distant from every part of the circumference of a great circle of the sphere.
  • n. Hence In any more or less spherical body, one of two opposite points of the surface in any way distinguished; or, when there is a marked equator, one of the two points most remote from it: as, in botany, the poles of certain spores or sporidia.
  • n. The star which is nearest the pole of the earth; the pole-star.
  • n. The firmament; the sky.
  • n. One of the points of a body at which its attractive or repulsive energy is concentrated, as the free ends of a magnet, one called the north, the other the south pole, which attract more strongly than any other part. See magnet.
  • n. In mathematics: A point from which a pencil of lines radiates: as, the pole—that is, the origin—of polar coordinates.
  • n. A point to which a given line is polar.
  • n. A curve related to a line as a polar is to a point, except that tangential are substituted for point coördinates; the result of operating upon the equation of a curve with the symbol (u'.d/du + v'.d/v + w'.d/d w), where u', v', w' are the coördinates of the line of which the resulting curve is pole relative to the primitive curve. See polar, n.
  • n. In a magnetic body, either of the two points about which two opposite magnetic forces are generally most intense. A line joining these points is called the magnetic axis, and generally a magnet may be considered as if the magnetic forces were concentrated at the extremity of this line. When a magnetic body is freely suspended, the magnetic axis assumes a direction parallel with the lines of force of the magnetic field in which it is. On the surface of the earth this direction is in a vertical plane approximately north and south, and that end of the magnet which points to the north is generally called the north pole or the north-seeking pole. The fact that the real magnetism of this pole is opposite in character to that of the north pole of the earth gives rise to some confusion in the nomenclature of the poles. Some physicists have used the epithets marked and unmarked to designate the north-seeking and south-seeking poles respectively. The words austral and boreal are also used. A magnet may have more than two poles, or points of maximum magnetic intensity, and in fact it may be assumed that all parts of a magnet are in a state of polarity, the actual poles of the magnet being the result of all polarization.
  • n. A native or an inhabitant of Poland, a former kingdom of Europe, divided, since the latter part of the eighteenth century, between Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
  • n. An obsolete spelling of pool.
  • n. The tall, erect, flowering stem sent up by the species of Agave (century-plant) when about to complete their life-cycle, particularly that of the sisal hemp, Agave rigida, cultivated for its fiber in Yucatan, Florida, etc. Plants at the pole-bearing stage are said to be in pole. Plantlets are formed on the branches of the inflorescence which serve for propagation, and are known as pole-plants.
  • n. In forestry, a tree from 4 to 12 inches in diameter breast-high. See tree class. A small or low pole is a tree from 4 to 8 inches in diameter breast-high; a large or high pole, one from 8 to 12 inches in diameter breast-high. Also called high pole.
  • n. In archery, a case of canvas, or other material, to carry bows from place to place.
  • n. A device for steadying a cross-cut saw, so that one man can use it, instead of two.
  • n. In mathematics: The cointersection point of the joins when two correlated polystigms have the joins of their paired dots and codots copunctal.
  • n. In function-theory, a non-essential singular point.
  • n. In cytology, one of the ends of the achromatic spindle in mitosis, or indirect cell-division. The opposite end is sometimes called the antipole.

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

  • n. a long fiberglass sports implement used for pole vaulting
  • n. one of two divergent or mutually exclusive opinions
  • v. deoxidize molten metals by stirring them with a wooden pole
  • n. one of the two ends of a magnet where the magnetism seems to be concentrated
  • n. a long (usually round) rod of wood or metal or plastic
  • n. a square rod of land
  • n. one of two points of intersection of the Earth's axis and the celestial sphere
  • n. one of two antipodal points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface
  • v. propel with a pole
  • n. a native or inhabitant of Poland
  • n. a contact on an electrical device (such as a battery) at which electric current enters or leaves
  • n. a linear measure of 16.5 feet
  • v. support on poles


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

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin polus, from Greek polos, axis, sky.
Middle English, from Old English pāl, from Latin pālus, stake.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English pole, pal, from Old English pāl ("a pole, stake, post; a kind of hoe or spade"), from Proto-Germanic *palaz, *pālaz (“pole”), from Latin pālus ("stake, pale, prop, stay") from Old Latin *paglus, from Proto-Indo-European *pāǵe- (“to nail, fasten”). Cognate with Scots pale, paill ("stake, pale"), North Frisian pul, pil ("stake, pale"), West Frisian poal ("pole"), Dutch paal ("pole"), German Pfahl ("pile, stake, post, pole"), Danish pæl ("pole"), Swedish påle ("pole"), Icelandic páll ("hoe, spade, pale"), Old English fæc ("space of time, while, division, interval; lustrum").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French pole, pôle, and its source, Latin polus, from Ancient Greek πόλος ("axis of rotation").



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.