Definition of ballot noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈbælət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈbælət//
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  1. 1[uncountable, countable] the system of voting in writing and usually in secret; an occasion on which a vote is held The chairperson is chosen by secret ballot. The union cannot call a strike unless it holds a ballot of members. Synonymselectionvote poll referendum ballotThese are all words for an event in which people choose a representative or decide something by voting.election an occasion on which people officially choose a political representative or government by voting:Who did you vote for in the last election?vote an occasion on which a group of people vote for somebody/​something:They took a vote on who should go first.poll (journalism) the process of voting in an election:They suffered a defeat at the polls.referendum an occasion on which all the adults in a country can vote on a particular issueballot the system of voting by marking an election paper, especially in secret; an occasion on which a vote is held:The leader will be chosen by secret ballot. Ballot is usually used about a vote within an organization rather than an occasion on which the public vote.Patterns a national/​local election/​vote/​poll/​referendum/​ballot to have/​hold/​conduct a(n) election/​vote/​poll/​referendum/​ballot CollocationsVoting in electionsRunning for election conduct/​hold an election/​a referendum (especially North American English) run for office/​election/​governor/​mayor/​president/​the White House (especially British English) stand for election/​office/​Parliament/​the Labour Party/​a second term hold/​call/​contest a general/​national election launch/​run a presidential election campaign support/​back a candidate sway/​convince/​persuade voters/​the electorate appeal to/​attract/​woo/​target (North American English) swing voters/(British English) floating voters fix/​rig/​steal an election/​the voteVoting go to/​be turned away from (especially British English) a polling station/(North American English) a polling place cast a/​your vote/​ballot (for somebody) vote for the Conservative candidate/​the Democratic party mark/​spoil your ballot paper count (British English) the postal votes/(especially North American English) the absentee ballots go to/​be defeated at the ballot box get/​win/​receive/​lose votes get/​win (60% of) the popular/​black/​Hispanic/​Latino/​Muslim vote win the election/(in the US) the primaries/​a seat in Parliament/​a majority/​power lose an election/​the vote/​your majority/​your seat win/​come to power in a landslide (victory) (= with many more votes than any other party) elect/​re-elect somebody (as) mayor/​president/​an MP/​senator/​congressman/​congresswomanTaking power be sworn into office/​in as president take/​administer (in the US) the oath of office swear/​take (in the UK) an/​the oath of allegiance give/​deliver (in the US) the president’s inaugural address take/​enter/​hold/​leave office appoint somebody (as) ambassador/​governor/​judge/​minister form a government/​a cabinet serve two terms as prime minister/​in office See related entries: Elections
  2. 2(British English also ballot paper) [countable] the piece of paper on which somebody marks who they are voting for What percentage of eligible voters cast their ballots?
  3. 3the ballot [singular] the total number of votes in an election She won 58.8% of the ballot.
  4. see also poll
    Word Originmid 16th cent. (originally denoting a small coloured ball placed in a container to register a vote): from Italian ballotta, diminutive of balla. Wordfinderballot, closed shop, collective bargaining, industrial action, labour, picket, protest, representative, strike, unionExtra examples Only 40% of eligible voters cast their ballots. The club members decided in a ballot to suspend the captain. The jury cast their vote by secret ballot. They voted against him at the second ballot. a ballot for the Conservative leadership a ballot on the new contracts a ballot over strike action The leader will be chosen by secret ballot. The union cannot call a strike unless it holds a ballot amongst its members.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ballot