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Related to poles: magnetic poles, North and South Poles

pole 1

1. Either extremity of an axis through a sphere.
2. Either of the regions contiguous to the extremities of the earth's rotational axis, the North Pole or the South Pole.
3. Physics See magnetic pole.
4. Electricity Either of two oppositely charged terminals, as in an electric cell or battery.
5. Astronomy See celestial pole.
6. Biology
a. Either extremity of the main axis of a nucleus, cell, or organism.
b. Either end of the spindle formed in a cell during mitosis.
c. The point on a nerve cell where a process originates.
7. Either of two antithetical ideas, propensities, forces, or positions.
8. A fixed point of reference.
9. Mathematics
a. The origin in a polar coordinate system; the vertex of a polar angle.
b. A point in the complex plane at which a given function is not defined.

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

pole 2

1. A long, relatively slender, generally rounded piece of wood or other material.
2. The long tapering wooden shaft extending up from the front axle of a vehicle to the collars of the animals drawing it; a tongue.
a. See rod.
b. A unit of area equal to a square rod.
4. Sports The inside position on the starting line of a racetrack: qualified in the time trials to start on the pole.
v. poled, pol·ing, poles
a. To propel with a pole: boatmen poling barges up a placid river.
b. 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).
2. To support (plants) with a pole.
3. To strike, poke, or stir with a pole.
1. To propel a boat or raft with a pole.
2. To use ski poles to maintain or gain speed.

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


1. A native or inhabitant of Poland.
2. A person of Polish ancestry.


  • sedan chair - An enclosed chair carried on poles.
  • oblate, prolate - Oblate means "flattened at the poles," and the opposite is prolate; the Earth is an oblate spheroid.
  • tent - Comes from a Latin word for "stretch," as early tents were made from cloth or skins stretched on poles.
  • running boards - Originally extended from bow to stern on canal boats—which men walked along, propelling the boats with poles.


1. The ends of the Earth’s axis, forming its northernmost and southernmost points: the North Pole and South Pole. Their locations do not correspond exactly with the North and South magnetic poles that are produced by the Earth’s magnetic properties.
2. Two points of a magnet where magnetism seems concentrated.
References in classic literature ?
For the fun of it we bring our things in these bags, wear the old hats, use poles to climb the hill, and play pilgrims, as we used to do years ago.
I seen bunches of hair and stuff sticking to the poles and straw along the roof.
As soon as General Clark, then at the Falls of the Ohio, who was ever our ready friend, and merits the love and gratitude of all his country-men, understood the circumstances of this unfortunate action, he ordered an expedition, with all possible haste, to pursue the savages, which was so expeditiously effected, that we overtook them within two miles of their towns, and probably might have obtained a great victory, had not two of their number met us about two hundred poles before we come up.
There were four such flats in each building, and each of the four was a "boardinghouse" for the occupancy of foreigners--Lithuanians, Poles, Slovaks, or Bohemians.
As the names of the Poles and Russians are to us, so are ours to them.
They were stringing ground wires; we were afraid to put up poles, for they would attract too much inquiry.
Of course we frequently manned the poles and shoved earnestly for a second or so, but every time one of those spurts of dust and debris shot aloft every man dropped his pole and looked up to get the bearings of his share of it.
There was sheds made out of poles and roofed over with branches, where they had lemonade and gingerbread to sell, and piles of watermelons and green corn and such-like truck.
Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat.
Eighty poles, each of one foot high, were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords, of the bigness of packthread, were fastened by hooks to many bandages, which the workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, my body, and my legs.
Here I hire a catre and four boys to carry me to Bazaim: these catres are a kind of travelling couches, in which you may either lie or sit, which the boys, whose business is the same with that of chairmen in our country, support upon their shoulders by two poles, and carry a passenger at the rate of eighteen or twenty miles a day.
At first, they had strung the wires on poles and roof-tops.