use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

vote (vōt)
Share:
n.
1.
a. A formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue: Let's decide the matter by vote.
b. The act of voting: It took several votes to decide the matter.
c. A means by which such a preference is made known, such as a raised hand or a marked ballot: looked around the room and counted the votes in favor.
2. The number of votes cast in an election or to resolve an issue: a heavy vote in favor of the bill.
3. A group of voters alike in some way: the African-American vote; the rural vote.
4. The result of an election or referendum: The measure was defeated in a resounding negative vote.
5. The right to participate as a voter; suffrage: when the nation gave the vote to women.
v. vot·ed, vot·ing, votes
v.intr.
1. To express one's preference for a candidate or for a proposed resolution of an issue; cast a vote: voting against the measure.
2. To express a choice or an opinion: The children voted unanimously by jumping up and down.
v.tr.
1. To express one's preference for by vote: voted the straight Republican ticket.
2. To decide the disposition of by vote, as by electing or defeating: vote in a new mayor; voted out their representative; vote down the amendment.
3. To bring into existence or make available by vote: vote new funds for a program.
4. To be guided by in voting: vote one's conscience.
5. To declare or pronounce by general consent: voted the play a success.
6. Informal To state as a preference or opinion: I vote we eat out tonight.
Idiom:
vote with (one's) feet Informal
To indicate a preference or an opinion by leaving or entering a particular locale: "If older cities are allowed to decay and contract, can citizens who vote with their feet ... hope to find better conditions anywhere else?" (Melinda Beck).

[Middle English, vow, from Latin vōtum, from neuter past participle of vovēre, to vow.]

vota·ble, votea·ble adj.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.