—n. 1. a long, cylindrical, often slender piece of wood, metal, etc.: a telephone pole; a fishing pole. 2. Northeastern U.S.a long, tapering piece of wood or other material that extends from the front axle of a vehicle between the animals drawing it.
3. Naut. a. a light spar.
b. that part of a mast between the uppermost standing rigging and the truck.
4. the lane of a racetrack nearest to the infield; the inside lane. Cf. post1 (def. 5).
5. a unit of length equal to 16½ feet (5 m); a rod.
6. a square rod, 30¼ square yards (25.3 sq. m).
7. under bare poles, a. Naut.(of a sailing ship) with no sails set, as during a violent storm.
b. stripped; naked; destitute: The thugs robbed him and left him under bare poles.
—v.t. 1. to furnish with poles.
2. to push, strike, or propel with a pole: to pole a raft. 3. Baseball.to make (an extra-base hit) by batting the ball hard and far: He poled a triple to deep right-center. 4. Metall.to stir (molten metal, as copper, tin, or zinc) with poles of green wood so as to produce carbon, which reacts with the oxygen present to effect deoxidation.
—v.i. to propel a boat, raft, etc., with a pole: to pole down the river.
Pronunciation: (pōl),[key] —n. 1. each of the extremities of the axis of the earth or of any spherical body.
2. Astron.See celestial pole. 3. one of two opposite or contrasted principles or tendencies: His behavior ranges between the poles of restraint and abandon. 4. a point of concentration of interest, attention, etc.: The beautiful actress was the pole of everyone's curiosity. 5. Elect.,Magnetism.either of the two regions or parts of an electric battery, magnet, or the like, that exhibits electrical or magnetic polarity.
6. Cell Biol. a. either end of an ideal axis in a nucleus, cell, or ovum, about which parts are more or less symmetrically arranged.
b. either end of a spindle-shaped figure formed in a cell during mitosis.
c. the place at which a cell extension or process begins, as a nerve cell axon or a flagellum.
7. Math. a. a singular point at which a given function of a complex variable can be expanded in a Laurent series beginning with a specified finite, negative power of the variable.
b. origin (def. 6b).
8. Crystall.a line perpendicular to a crystal face and passing through the crystal center.
9. poles apart or asunder, having widely divergent or completely opposite attitudes, interests, etc.: In education and background they were poles apart.
Pronunciation: (pōl),[key] —n. a native or inhabitant of Poland.
Pronunciation: (pōl),[key] —n. Reginald, 1500–58, English cardinal and last Roman Catholic archbishop of Canterbury.