Meaning of VOTE in English


1. to vote

2. to choose a government, leader, or representative by voting

3. an occasion when people vote

4. someone who votes

5. the right to vote

6. ways of saying how many votes are made or received

7. to try to get elected

8. political activities before an election


see also







1. to vote

▷ vote /vəʊt/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to formally choose someone such as a political representative or show your support or disapproval of something, for example by putting a mark on a piece of paper in an election :

▪ In tomorrow’s election, many young people will be voting for the first time.

▪ Hundreds of people lost their lives in the past fighting for the right to vote.

vote for

vote to support them

▪ I haven’t decided who I’m going to vote for.

▪ 70% of the population voted for independence.

vote against

▪ Only two people voted against the expansion of the business.

vote in favour of something

▪ The vast majority of people voted in favour of closer links with Europe.

vote on

▪ Teachers will be voting on a proposal to accept the 5% pay offer.

vote Republican/Labour etc

vote for a political party

▪ I’ve voted Democrat all my life.

▷ have/take a vote /ˌhæv, ˌteɪk ə ˈvəʊt/ [verb phrase]

if a group of people have or take a vote, they each make it known which idea they agree with, as a formal way of deciding what to do :

▪ We couldn’t agree on a way forward, so we decided to have a vote.

have/take a vote on

▪ I think we should take a vote on whether or not to accept their offer.

▷ cast a vote also cast a ballot American /ˌkɑːst ə ˈvəʊt, ˌkɑːst ə ˈbælətǁˌkæst-/ [verb phrase]

to vote in a political election :

▪ By the end of the day, less than 40% of the population had cast their votes.

▪ Over three quarters of the votes cast were for the Liberal candidate.

▪ Not until all the ballots have been cast can they be counted.

▷ put something to the/a vote /ˌpʊt something tə ðə, ə ˈvəʊt/ [verb phrase]

to ask a group of people to vote on something that has been discussed in order to come to an official decision about it :

▪ Let’s put it to the vote. All those in favour raise your hands.

▪ When the matter was put to a vote, the staff voted overwhelmingly not to go on strike.

▷ veto /ˈviːtəʊ/ [transitive verb]

if someone vetoes a decision that other people have agreed on, they use their official power to refuse to allow it :

▪ The president has the right to veto any piece of legislation.

▪ The deal was agreed by the board but vetoed by the chairman.

▷ ballot /ˈbælət/ [transitive verb]

to decide something by asking the members of an organization to formally vote on it :

▪ The union will now ballot its members on whether to go ahead with strike action.

▷ go to the polls /ˌgəʊ tə ðə ˈpəʊlz/ [verb phrase]

if the people of a country or area go to the polls, they vote in a political election - used especially in newspapers and on television or radio :

▪ The people of Houston will go to the polls next week to elect a new mayor.

▪ With only two days left before France goes to the polls, all parties are campaigning hard.

▷ the ballot box /ðə ˈbælət bɒksǁ-bɑːks/ [noun phrase]

the system of choosing a government by voting - used especially in newspapers and on television or radio :

▪ They are determined to win power through the ballot box, not by violence.

▪ The voters have expressed their views at the ballot box.

2. to choose a government, leader, or representative by voting

▷ elect /ɪˈlekt/ [transitive verb]

to choose a government, leader, or representative by voting :

▪ I think we should start by electing a new chairman.

elect somebody leader/chariman/president etc

▪ Ken Livingstone was elected mayor of London in May 2000.

▷ vote in/into /ˌvəʊt ˈɪn, ˈɪntuː/ [transitive phrasal verb]

give someone a position of political power by voting for them :

vote somebody/something in

▪ They always seem to vote in these corrupt, incompetent governments.

vote somebody into power/office

▪ The conservatives have promised to cut taxes if they are voted into office.

▷ re-elect /ˌriːɪˈlekt, ˌriːəˈlekt/ [transitive verb]

to elect someone to a position that they have had since the previous election :

▪ The chairman and treasurer have both been re-elected for another year.

re-elect somebody as something

▪ Simon Mungford has been re-elected as party leader.

▷ return /rɪˈtɜːʳn/ [transitive verb] British

to elect a politician as a member of parliament - used especially in news reports :

▪ Only 96 Conservative MPs were returned at the last election.

▷ nominate /ˈnɒmɪneɪt, ˈnɒməneɪtǁˈnɑː-/ [transitive verb]

to formally suggest that someone should become one of the people who will be voted for in an election :

▪ Whoever is nominated today will go forward to the leadership elections.

nominate somebody for something

▪ By now it was clear that Bush was going to be nominated for President.

nominate somebody as something

▪ I was nominated as chairman.

nomination /ˌnɒmɪˈneɪʃ ə n, ˌnɒməˈneɪʃ ə nǁˌnɑː-/ [countable noun]

the name of a person who has been nominated :

▪ All nominations must be in by three o'clock on March 21st.

3. an occasion when people vote

▷ election /ɪˈlekʃ ə n/ [countable noun]

when people vote to choose a government or leader :

▪ It will be interesting to see what happens at the next election.

hold an election

▪ South Africa held its first multi-racial elections in 1994.

call an election

to say officially that there will be an election

▪ The government may decide to call an election early.

presidential/gubernatorial election

an election to choose a president or governor

▪ America is preparing for the presidential elections, which will take place in two weeks’ time.

general election

British an election to choose a government

▪ Taxation will be one of the major issues at the next general election.

▷ electoral /ɪˈlekt ə rəl/ [adjective only before noun]

relating to an election :

▪ Support for electoral reform is growing.

▪ This was the first of her many electoral successes.

▪ Electoral systems vary from country to country.

▷ referendum /ˌrefəˈrendəm/ [countable noun]

when everyone in a country votes on a particular important political subject :

▪ How will you be voting in the referendum?

hold a referendum

▪ The government has promised to hold a referendum and let the people choose.

referendum on

▪ The Irish people voted ‘no’ in a referendum on divorce in 1986.

▷ ballot /ˈbælət/ [countable noun]

when the members of an organization vote on something by marking what they want on a piece of paper, especially in order to make sure that it is secret :

▪ The result of the ballot showed that nurses were not in favour of a strike.

ballot of

▪ He was elected by a ballot of all the teaching staff in the college.

hold a ballot

▪ It was decided to hold a ballot of all party members.

secret ballot

when no-one knows what you voted for

▪ Voting will be by secret ballot.

▷ polls /pəʊlz/ [plural noun]

a political election - used especially in news reports :

▪ The party is still trying to recover from the losses it suffered at last year’s polls.

at the polls

▪ Richards won a huge victory at the polls.

the polls

▪ Voters have been flocking to the polls to elect a new president.

▷ polling /ˈpəʊlɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

the process of voting in a political election :

▪ Polling has been going on since 9 am.

▪ The announcement of her resignation came just two days before polling was to begin.

polling day

British the day when an election is held

▪ Polling day is 30 May.

polling booth/station

a place where people vote

▪ Security was tight at the polling stations.

▷ show of hands /ˌʃəʊ əv ˈhændz/ [noun phrase]

when the people in a group are asked to vote informally by raising their hands :

▪ A show of hands suggested that Martins had little support.

▪ She was elected by a show of hands.

4. someone who votes

▷ voter /ˈvəʊtəʳ/ [countable noun]

someone who votes in a political election :

▪ Italian voters have shown that they are ready for a change of government.

Republican/Labour etc voters

▪ There is disappointment among Labour voters that the party has not done more to help traditional industries.

▷ electorate /ɪˈlekt ə rɪt, ɪˈlekt ə rət/ [singular noun]

all the people who can vote in a country or area :

▪ Research has shown that thirty percent of the electorate have still not decided how they will vote.

▪ He has been accused of misleading the electorate.

5. the right to vote

▷ the vote /ðə ˈvəʊt/ [singular noun]

the right to vote in an election :

▪ People are campaigning for civil rights and especially for the vote.

have the vote

▪ The majority of immigrant workers do not have the vote.

get the vote

▪ In 1928 in Britain, women got the vote at 21 on equal terms with men.

▷ have a vote /ˌhæv ə ˈvəʊt/ [verb phrase not in progressive]

if you have a vote, you have the right to vote :

▪ In Britain, everyone over 18 has a vote.

▪ The secretary is allowed to attend meetings, but does not have a vote.

▷ suffrage /ˈsʌfrɪdʒ/ [uncountable noun] formal

the right to vote in elections - use this especially to talk about people’s fight to be allowed to vote :

▪ There was a fierce struggle for women’s suffrage in Britain early this century.

▪ Suffrage reforms took place in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

universal suffrage

the right of every adult in a country to vote

▪ Even now, not every country in Europe has universal suffrage.

▷ franchise /ˈfræntʃaɪz/ [singular noun] formal

the right to vote in political elections :

▪ The franchise was later extended to any person over 18 years old.

▷ enfranchise /ɪnˈfræntʃaɪz/ [transitive verb] formal

to give a person or a group of people the right to vote in political elections :

▪ This legislation enfranchised many thousands of people.

▪ The group works in developing countries to increase literacy and enfranchise women.

▷ disenfranchise /ˌdɪsɪnˈfræntʃaɪz/ [transitive verb] formal

to take away someone’s right to vote in an election :

▪ If you don’t get your name on the electoral register you may be disenfranchised.

6. ways of saying how many votes are made or received

▷ the vote /ðə ˈvəʊt/ [singular noun]

the total number of votes made in a political election :

▪ 63% of the vote went to the National Party.

somebody’s share of the vote

▪ Once again, the Democrats increased their share of the vote.

▷ receive/get /rɪˈsiːv, get/ [transitive verb]

if a candidate receives or gets a particular number of votes, that is the number of people who have voted for him or her. Receive is more formal than get :

▪ Standord received 50% of the male vote.

▪ The Green Party candidate got only one more vote than the Socialists.

▷ poll /pəʊl/ [transitive verb] British

to receive a particular number of votes in an election :

▪ He polled 23,579 votes.

▪ The Labour candidate polled 52% of the votes.

7. to try to get elected

▷ run also stand British /rʌn, stænd/ [intransitive verb]

▪ Ellis has not yet announced whether or not he will run.

▪ I hope Ian will decide to stand because he’d make an excellent president.

run for

▪ Only eight percent of those standing for the National Party were women.

run against

▪ We’ve got an excellent candidate to run against Harwood in the election.

stand for Parliament


▪ He first stood for Parliament in 1974 but failed to get in.

stand for election


▪ If you want to change the way the committee does things, you should stand for election yourself.

run for President/mayor/office etc

▪ There are rumors going around that I’m running for President, but they’re not true.

▷ fight /faɪt/ [transitive verb] especially British

to try very hard to get elected, especially when this is difficult :

fight an election

▪ The Prime Minister has decided to stay on to fight another election.

fight somebody for something

▪ Neil Phillips will now fight Adams for leadership of the party.

▷ candidate /ˈkændɪdət, ˈkændədətǁ-deɪt, -də̇t/ [countable noun]

someone who tries to get elected :

▪ I think Reid is definitely the best candidate.

candidate for

▪ She stood as the candidate for Hackney East.

Conservative/Nationalist/Communist etc candidate

▪ My name is Andrew Fraser. I’m your Labour candidate.

▪ the Democratic candidate

8. political activities before an election

▷ campaign /kæmˈpeɪn/ [countable noun]

the activities and advertising used over a period of time to persuade people to vote for a particular party or person :

▪ Richards and his team have already started planning his campaign for election as party leader.

▪ Throughout the campaign, Baldwin looked the most likely to win.

election campaign

▪ The government does not want this kind of bad publicity in the middle of an election campaign.

campaign [intransitive verb]

▪ The Prime Minister will be campaigning in Scotland next week.

▷ electioneering /ɪˌlekʃəˈnɪ ə rɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

activities such as visiting places and talking to people to try to persuade them to vote for a particular person or party - use this especially when you think politicians are not being sincere when they do this :

▪ Modern electioneering is sophisticated and highly organised.

▪ Critics have dismissed his visit to a shelter for the homeless as an obvious piece of electioneering.

▷ canvass /ˈkænvəs/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to go around an area or to people’s houses in order to find out if they intend to vote for you or your party and, if not, to try to persuade them that they should :

▪ She was canvassing in the Greenside area of town yesterday.

▪ I spent the whole afternoon canvassing voters.

canvass for

▪ I canvass for the Democrats at election times.

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