- I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English pāl stake, pole, from Latin palus stake; akin to Latin pangere to fix — more at pact Date: before 12th century 1. a. a long slender usually cylindrical object (as a length of wood) b. a shaft which extends from the front axle of a wagon between wheelhorses and by which the wagon is drawn ; tongue c. a long staff of wood, metal, or fiberglass used in the pole vault 2. a varying unit of length; especially one equal to a rod (16 1/2 feet or about 5 meters) 3. a tree with a breast-high diameter of from 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 centimeters) 4. the inside front row position on the starting line for a race II. verb (poled; poling) Date: 1573 transitive verb 1. to act upon with a pole 2. to impel or push with a pole intransitive verb 1. to propel a boat with a pole 2. to use ski poles to gain speed III. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Latin polus, from Greek polos pivot, pole; akin to Greek pelesthai to become, Sanskrit carati he moves, wanders — more at wheel Date: 14th century 1. either extremity of an axis of a sphere and especially of the earth's axis 2. a. either of two related opposites b. a point of guidance or attraction 3. a. either of the two terminals of an electric cell, battery, generator, or motor b. one of two or more regions in a magnetized body at which the magnetic flux density is concentrated 4. either of two morphologically or physiologically differentiated areas at opposite ends of an axis in an organism or cell — see blastula illustration 5. a. the fixed point in a system of polar coordinates that serves as the origin b. the point of origin of two tangents to a conic section that determine a polar
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.