Definition of vote in English:

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Pronunciation: /vəʊt/


1A formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands.
Example sentences
  • Voters will have two votes on their ballot paper - one to vote for or against a regional assembly and the other to decide on the restructuring of local government.
  • His party candidate polled over 400 votes in the last election, which is higher than the current victory margin.
  • At the recent elections seven candidates polled around 5,200 votes and came second in two seats.
ballot, poll, election, referendum, plebiscite, public vote, general election, local election, popular vote, straw poll, show of hands;
voting, polling
1.1An act of giving or registering a vote: they are ready to put it to a vote
More example sentences
  • The House held four plenary sessions debating the issue before it put it to a vote on Monday.
  • When an offer was made, even though the union considered it to be an insult, the union did not put it to a vote.
  • I was going to post something, but couldn't decide between a possible four posts so I thought I'd put it to a vote.
1.2 (the vote) The choice expressed collectively by a body of electors or by a specified group: the nationalist vote in Northern Ireland
More example sentences
  • That result puts Labour back in office with the lowest share of the vote in British electoral history.
  • As a result our share of the vote dropped and we lost one of our six Westminster seats.
  • The decision will be put by referendum to the vote of electors in the different regions.
1.3 (the vote) The right to register a choice in an election.
Example sentences
  • A bill to give women the vote in local elections was introduced into the French parliament in 1906, but was promptly defeated.
  • In 1906, Finland became the first nation to give women the vote in national elections.
  • One of the guests seemed to say that if women hadn't had the vote every election since World War II would have been won by the Labour Party.
suffrage, franchise, enfranchisement, right to vote, voting rights;
voice, say, option, choice


[no object]
1Give or register a vote: they voted against the resolution [with complement]: I voted Labour
More example sentences
  • A direct initiative is where registered voters vote on the proposal put forward.
  • This was despite a record of 13 million new voters registering to vote in 1992.
  • As far as I was concerned I would be registered to vote at the next election.
go to the polls, cast one's vote, mark one's ballot paper
1.1 [with object and adverbial or complement] Cause (someone) to gain or lose a particular post or honour by means of a vote: incompetent judges are voted out of office
More example sentences
  • She does not face the possibility of impeachment, nor may she be voted out of office.
  • For many Americans, the answer to that question was no, and incumbent President Jimmy Carter was voted out of office.
  • The greater question is why we continue to vote people into office on platforms that allow this to happen.
elect, return, put in power, select, choose, pick, adopt, appoint, designate, opt for, plump for, decide on, settle on, fix on
depose, oust, push out, turn out, remove from office, remove from power, unseat, dethrone, displace, dismiss, discharge, dislodge, eject, cashier
informal boot out, kick out, drum out, give someone the boot, defenestrate
British informal turf out
dated out
1.2 [with clause] informal Used to express a wish to follow a particular course of action: I vote we have one more game
suggest, propose, recommend, advocate, move, table, submit
1.3 [with object] (Of a legislature) grant or confer by vote: Parliament has voted the money for the proposed expenditure
More example sentences
  • In 1856 the South Australian government had voted a sum of money to help in the search for gold.
  • Therefore it would be unseemly for Parliament to vote money for a member of the royal family.
1.4 [with object] (vote something down) Reject something by means of a vote: the referendum call was voted down
More example sentences
  • I was very hopeful that the Government would see fit to introduce concepts like shared parenting, like a proper open Family Court, and I have been disappointed to see that the Government has voted those amendments down.
  • We provided the Government with the opportunity to vote for the very wording that is in the Sentencing Act, designed to make judges use the full scale of available sentences, and this Government voted that amendment down.
  • I say we should put this issue to a referendum, because I believe that the people would vote it down.



vote of confidence

Pronunciation: /ˌvəʊt əv ˈkɒnfɪdəns/
A vote showing that a majority continues to support the policy of a leader or governing body.
Example sentences
  • Dissolution may be sought when the government loses a vote of confidence or its majority is threatened by split or defection.
  • My alternative suggestion was that he should initiate a vote of confidence from the Parliamentary Party.
  • Votes on items such as the budget are legitimately votes of confidence in the government and party discipline should prevail.

vote of no confidence (or vote of censure)

A vote showing that a majority does not support the policy of a leader or governing body: he was removed from office following an overwhelming vote of no confidence
More example sentences
  • He predicts that the demonstrations will reach their peak in two months and force the government to face a vote of no confidence in parliament.
  • Talks resumed today after parliament passed a vote of no confidence in the government.
  • There is support for a vote of no confidence in the union's national executive, triggering new elections.

vote someone/thing off the island

informal, chiefly US Dismiss or reject someone or something as unsatisfactory: when a CEO gets voted off the island, the CFO typically gets dumped, too
With reference to the reality television series Survivor (first broadcast in 2000), in which contestants are isolated in a remote area and gradually eliminated from the game through successive rounds of voting
More example sentences
  • Pitifully, I was the second co-op to get voted off the island.
  • I asked Daughter what she thought of our homegrown dictator and she said, "You all really need to vote her off the island."
  • In the corporate world, when a CEO gets voted off the island, or even ships out voluntarily, the CFO typically gets dumped, too.

vote with one's feet

informal Indicate an opinion by being present or absent: the East Germans voted with their feet in an irresistible move towards freedom
More example sentences
  • The minister said by voting with their feet, parents had indicated there were severe problems which needed to be addressed.
  • The people were voting with their feet and their dollars.
  • A spokesman added: ‘People are voting with their feet by not using the bus station.’



Pronunciation: /ˈvəʊtləs/
Example sentences
  • It never crossed my mind there had been any kind of conspiracy to keep me speechless and voteless.
  • Congress granted Alaska a voteless delegate to Congress in 1906 and six years later, with the second Organic Act, gave Alaska a limited form of territorial government.
  • He also said, ‘a voteless people are a powerless people’ - voters must end our powerlessness.




Late Middle English: from Latin votum 'a vow, wish', from vovere 'to vow'. The verb dates from the mid 16th century.

  • Vote is from Latin votum ‘a vow, wish’, from vovere ‘to vow’. The verb dates from the mid 16th century. The word votive (late 16th century) meaning ‘offered in fulfilment of a vow’ is from votum as are vow (Middle English), devout (Middle English), and devotion (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with vote

afloat, bloat, boat, capote, coat, connote, cote, dote, emote, float, gloat, goat, groat, misquote, moat, mote, note, oat, outvote, promote, quote, rote, shoat, smote, stoat, Succoth, table d'hôte, Terre Haute, throat, tote, wrote

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: vote

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