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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 periodicals archive ?
13) Stefan Korbonski, Polacy, Zydzi i Holocaust (Warszawa: Instytut Pamieci Narodowej, 2011), 45-71.
Raport PMR, Polacy dobrze sytuowani i wyksztatceni wiedza jak oszczedzac na zakupach i robia to chetniej od swoich mniej zamoznych rodakow [PMR Report.
Polacy o swoim zdrowiu oraz o prozdrowotnych zachowaniach i aktywnosciach.
After forty years, the subject of shame was taken up in an essay entitled Biedni Polacy patrzq na getto [The Poor Poles Look at the Ghetto], crucial for the debate about attitudes of Poles towards Jews, written by Jan Blonski, an outstanding literary critic and a lecturer at Jagiellonian University.
1963: Polacy w wojnie hiszpanskiej (1936-1939) [Los polacos en la Guerra Civil Espanola], Varsovia: MON.
Borejsza and Grzegorz Pawel Babiak, Polacy i ziemiepolskie w dobie wojny krymskiej (Warsaw: Polski instytut spraw miedzynarodowych, 2008); and G.