SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
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:
Conversation — October 2, 2015, 8:26 am
“By committing to the great emotional extremes demanded by Greek tragedy,” says Bryan Doerries, author of The Theater of War, “the actors are in effect saying to the audience: ‘If you want to match our emotional intensity, that would be fine.’”
Chances that a Soviet woman’s first pregnancy will end in abortion:
Peaceful fungus-farming ants are sometimes protected against nomadic raider ants by sedentary invader ants.
In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighbor’s home.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."