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
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.
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.
vote with (one's) feetInformal
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 ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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:
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.