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VOTE, n. [L. votum, from voveo, to vow. Votum is properly wish or will.]
Suffrage; the expression of a wish, desire, will, preference or choice, in regard to any measure proposed, in which the person voting has an interest in common with others, either in electing a man to office, or in passing laws, rules, regulations and the like. This vote or expression of will may be given by holding up the hand, by rising and standing up, by the voice, viva voce. by ballot, by a ticket or otherwise. All these modes and others are used. Hence,
That by which will or preference is expressed in elections or in deciding propositions; a ballot; a ticket, &c.; as a written vote.
Expression of will be a majority; legal decision by some expression of the minds of a number; as, the vote was unanimous.
United voice in public prayer.
— from Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828 edition
VOTE. s. [votum, Latin.] Suffrage; voice given and numbered.
— from Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, 1783 edition
VOTE. n. s. [votum, Lat.] Suffrage; voice given and numbered. Roscommon. United voice of persons in publick prayer. See SUFFRAGE. Bp. Prideaux .
— from Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, 1824 edition, abridged
a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.
• an act of expressing such an indication of choice: they are ready to put it to a vote.
• (the vote) the choice expressed collectively by a body of electors or by a specified group: the Republican vote in Florida.
• (the vote) the right to indicate a choice in an election.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin votum ‘a vow, wish,’ from vovere ‘to vow.’ The verb dates from the mid 16th cent.
—from New Oxford American Dictionary, 2005 Edition
More from Wyatt Mason:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”