Dictionary: POKE – POLE-DA-VY

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POKE, v.t.1 [Corn. pokkia, to thrust or push. In Armoric, pochan is one that dives or plunges.]

  1. Properly, to thrust; hence to feel or search for with a long instrument. – Brown.
  2. To thrust at with the horns, as an ox; a popular use of the word in New England. And intransitively, to poke at, is to thrust the horns at.

POKE, v.t.2

To put a poke on; as, to poke an ox. – New England.

POK-ER, n.1 [from poke.]

An iron bar used in stirring the fire when coal is used for fuel. Swift.

POK-ER, n.2 [Dan. pokker, the duse; W. pwca, a hobgoblin; bwg, id.; bwgan, a bugbear; bw, terror, fright. These words seem to be allied to buw, buwc, an ox or cow, L. bos, bovis, and all perhaps from the bellowing of bulls.]

Any frightful object, especially in the dark; a bugbear; a word in common popular use in America.


Drudging; servile. [Colloquial.] – Gray.

POK-ING, ppr.

Feeling in the dark; stirring with a poker; thrusting at with the horns; putting a poke on.


An instrument formerly used in adjusting the plaits of ruffs then worn. – Middleton. Shak.


A three-masted vessel in the Mediterranean.

PO-LA'CRE, n. [Sp. id.; Port. polaca, polhacra; Fr. polacre, polaque.]

A vessel with three masts, used in the Mediterranean. The masts are usually of one piece, so that they have neither tops, caps nor cross-trees, nor horses to their upper yards. Mar. Dict. Encyc.

PO'LAR, a. [Fr. polaire; It. polare; Sp. polar. See Pole.]

  1. Pertaining to the poles of the earth, north and south, or to the poles of artificial globes; situated near one of the poles; as, polar regions; polar seas; polar ice or climates.
  2. Proceeding from one of the regions near the poles; as, polar winds.
  3. Pertaining to the magnetic pole, or to the point to which the magnetic needle is directed.

PO'LAR-CHY, n. [Gr. πολυς and αρχη.]

Government by a number of persons.

PO'LAR-I-SCOPE, n. [polar, pole, and Gr. σκοπεω, to view.]

An instrument for ascertaining the polarity of bodies or substances. – Arago.


That quality of a body in virtue of which peculiar properties reside in certain points; usually, as in electrified or magnetized bodies, properties of attraction Or repulsion, or the power of taking a certain direction. Thus we speak of the polarity of the magnet or magnetic needle, whose pole is not always that of the earth, but a point somewhat easterly or westerly; and the deviation of the needle from a north and south line is called its variation. A mineral is said to possess polarity, when it attracts one pole of a magnetic needle and repels the other.


The act of giving polarity to a body. Polarization of light, a change produced upon light by the action of certain Media, by which it exhibits the appearance of having polarity, or poles possessing different properties. This property of light was first discovered by Huygens in his investigation of the cause of double refraction, as seen in the Iceland crystal. The attention of opticians was more particularly directed toward it by the discoveries of Malus, 1810. The knowledge of this singular property of light, has afforded an explanation of several very intricate phenomena in optics.

PO'LAR-IZE, v.t.

To communicate polarity to.


Having polarity communicated to.


Giving polarity to.

PO'LAR-Y, a. [See Polar.]

Tending to a pole; having a direction to a pole. – Brown.

POLE, n.1 [Sax. pol, pal; G. pfahl; D. paal; Sw. påle; Dan. pæl; W. pawl; L. palus. See Pale.]

  1. A long slender piece of wood, or the stem of a small tree deprived of its branches. Thus seamen use poles for setting or driving boats in shallow water; the stems of small trees are used for hoops and called hoop-poles; the sterns of small, but tall straight trees, are used as poles for supporting the scaffolding in building.
  2. A rod; a perch; a measure of length of five yards and a half. [In New England, rod is generally used.]
  3. An instrument for measuring. – Bacon. Bare poles. A ship is under bare poles, when her sails are all furled. – Mar. Dict.

POLE, n.2 [Fr. pole; It. and Sp. polo; G. Dan. and Sw. pol; D. pool; L. polus; Gr. πολος, from πολεω, to turn.]

  1. In astronomy, one of the extremities of the axis on which the sphere revolves. These two points are called the poles of the world.
  2. In spherics, a point equally distant from every part of the circumference of a great circle of the sphere; or it is a point 90º distant from the plane of a circle, and in a line passing perpendicularly through the center, called the axis. Thus the zenith and nadir are the poles of the horizon.
  3. In geography, the extremity of the earth's axis, or one of the points on the surface of our globe through which the axis passes.
  4. The star which is vertical to the pole of the earth; the pole-star. Poles of the ecliptic, are two points on the surface of the sphere, 23º 30' distant from the poles of the world. Magnetic poles, two points in a lodestone corresponding to the poles of the world; the one pointing to the north, the other to the south.

POLE, n.3 [from Poland.]

A native of Poland.

POLE, v.t.

  1. To furnish with poles for support; as, to pole beans.
  2. To bear or convey on poles; as, to pole hay into a barn.
  3. To impel by poles, as a boat; to push forward by the use of poles.


An ax fixed to a pole or handle; or rather a sort of hatchet with a handle about fifteen inches in length, and a point or claw bending downward from the back of its head. It is principally used in actions at sea, to cut away the rigging of the enemy attempting to board; sometimes it is thrust into the side of a ship to assist in mounting the enemy's ship, and it is sometimes called a boarding-ax. – Mar. Dict. Encyc.

POLE-CAT, n. [Fr. poule, a hen, and chat, a cat, i. e. hen-cat, because it feeds on poultry, eggs, &c.]

The popular name of two digitigrade carnivorous mammals, the Putorius vulgaris, and the Putorius alpinus. These are small quadrupeds of Europe, nearly allied to the weasel. They have small glands secreting a fetid liquor somewhat like that of the American skunk. The fitchew or fitchet.


A sort of coarse cloth. – Ainsworth.