from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Either extremity of an axis through a sphere.
  • noun Either of the regions contiguous to the extremities of the earth's rotational axis, the North Pole or the South Pole.
  • noun Electricity Either of two oppositely charged terminals, as in an electric cell or battery.
  • noun Either extremity of the main axis of a nucleus, cell, or organism.
  • noun Either end of the spindle formed in a cell during mitosis.
  • noun The point on a nerve cell where a process originates.
  • noun Either of two antithetical ideas, propensities, forces, or positions.
  • noun A fixed point of reference.
  • noun The origin in a polar coordinate system; the vertex of a polar angle.
  • noun A point in the complex plane at which a given function is not defined.
  • noun A long, relatively slender, generally rounded piece of wood or other material.
  • noun The long tapering wooden shaft extending up from the front axle of a vehicle to the collars of the animals drawing it; a tongue.
  • noun A unit of area equal to a square rod.
  • noun Sports The inside position on the starting line of a racetrack.
  • intransitive verb To propel with a pole.
  • intransitive verb To propel (oneself) or make (one's way) by the use of ski poles.
  • intransitive verb To support (plants) with a pole.
  • intransitive verb To strike, poke, or stir with a pole.
  • intransitive verb To propel a boat or raft with a pole.
  • intransitive verb To use ski poles to maintain or gain speed.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In archery, a case of canvas, or other material, to carry bows from place to place.
  • noun A device for steadying a cross-cut saw, so that one man can use it, instead of two.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Either of the two points on the earth's surface in which it is cut by the axis of rotation.
  • noun In general, a point on a sphere equally distant from every part of the circumference of a great circle of the sphere.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The star which is nearest the pole of the earth; the pole-star.
  • noun The firmament; the sky.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In mathematics: A point from which a pencil of lines radiates: as, the pole—that is, the origin—of polar coordinates.
  • noun A point to which a given line is polar.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun An obsolete spelling of pool.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Specifically— A rod used in measuring.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A fishing-rod.
  • noun A bean-pole or hop-pole.
  • noun A ship's mast.
  • noun 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.


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin polus, from Greek polos, axis, sky; see kwel- in Indo-European roots.]

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

[Middle English, from Old English pāl, from Latin pālus, stake; see pag- in Indo-European roots.]

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").


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  • Period: May 2009* operation: elliptical orbit, 20 km (perilune) at south pole and 100 km (apolune) at north pole* mission: same as phase 2.

    Spaceports 2008

  • _horror_, and _flying from pole to pole_ to avoid a man because you have made him at last find out that he has a heart!

    Tales and Novels — Volume 08 Maria Edgeworth 1808

  • In place of the term pole, I propose using that of _Electrode_ [A], and I mean thereby that substance, or rather surface, whether of air, water, metal, or any other body, which bounds the extent of the decomposing matter in the direction of the electric current.

    Experimental Researches in Electricity, Volume 1 Michael Faraday 1829

  • Factual: the night-time temperature at the pole is around - 130C ()

    Mars Ain't The Kind of Place To Raise Your Kids. In Fact Its Cold As ... - NASA Watch 2008

  • In what we called the pole-of-consciousness and the pole-of-life we therefore have a clear polarity of the second order, and so in everything that is connected with these two, as our further discussions will show.

    Man or Matter Ernst Lehrs

  • For her part, Selectman Nancy Hyde said having a marker, which she called a pole, "is the most important thing to be able to find those fire hydrants," especially when they are covered by snow.

    The Daily News Transcript Homepage RSS 2009

  • The temporary pole is installed, inspected and ready to go.

    EECB Scores Direct Hit On Duke Energy - The Consumerist 2009

  • The only reason people would buy this pole is because they think it looks cool, that's it.

    Camo Rods? 2009

  • The only reason people would buy this pole is because they think it looks cool, that's it.

    Camo Rods? 2009

  • As most Supts have never done any decent police work in their lives the only way they can move up the pole is to keep reaching their targets and having a good “diversity” and “issue” agenda.

    Police Do As They Are Told Shock!!!! « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG Inspector Gadget 2009


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