pole, in electricity and magnetism, point where electric or magnetic force appears to be concentrated. A single electric charge located at a point is sometimes referred to as an electric monopole. An electric dipole consists of two equal and opposite charges separated by a distance. Some molecules, although electrically neutral as a whole, do not have their charges distributed symmetrically, so that the separation of the centers of positive and negative charge constitutes an electric dipole; such molecules are called polar molecules. In calculating the electric potential at a distance r from an electric dipole, it is found that it varies principally as 1/r2, while the potential around a single charge varies as 1/r. More complex arrangements of charges may have potentials whose principal term contains a higher power of the distance r. A charge configuration for which the principal term of the potential varies as 1/r3 is called an electric quadrupole; similarly, an octupole is characterized by a potential varying as 1/r4, a 16-pole by 1/r5, and so forth. In magnetism, poles may be defined in an analogous way, so that an ordinary bar magnet with a north pole at one end and a south pole at the other constitutes a magnetic dipole. The potential energy associated with a given arrangement of magnets may be analyzed similarly to that of an array of charges. The analogy is not complete, however, since no isolated magnetic charges (magnetic monopoles) have been found in nature, though some scientists believe their existence possible.
pole, magnetic: see magnetic pole.
Pole, Reginald, 1500-1558, English churchman, archbishop of Canterbury (1556-58), cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was a cousin of the Tudors, being the son of Sir Richard Pole and of Margaret, countess of Salisbury, who was the daughter of George, duke of Clarence, and the niece of kings Edward IV and Richard III. Although he did not take priestly orders until late in life, he was devout from the first and received many church benefices from Henry VIII. When his benefactor broke with the pope, Pole went abroad. In 1536 he made a formal statement of his views on the king's divorce, attacking the doctrine of royal supremacy. In the same year he accepted Pope Paul III's summons to sit on the commission to reform the pontifical administration and was created cardinal. In 1537 and again in 1538-39, Pole was active in trying to organize a league against Henry, who now was setting out to destroy the Pole family. However, Pole was unsuccessful in this endeavor, and he returned to Rome and received the legatine governorship of Viterbo. He was one of the legates appointed to open the Council of Trent (1545). In 1553, on Edward VI's death, Pope Julius III made him legate to England, and he and Mary I set about restoring the Roman Catholic Church. However, he ran afoul of Mary's husband, Philip II of Spain, and then of Pope Paul IV, and his difficulties were multiplied. He was always a mild man and would have nothing to do with the burning of heretics. In 1556 he was ordained priest and consecrated archbishop of Canterbury. He died the same day as Mary.
Pole, Richard de la: see Pole, family.
Pole, William de la: see Pole, family.

Pole may refer to:

Cylindrical object

  • A solid cylindrical object with length greater than its diameter e.g:
    • Barber's pole, advertising a barber shop
    • Danish pole, a circus prop
    • Firemen's pole, a wooden pole or a metal tube or pipe installed between floors in fire stations
    • Flag pole, a metal pole from which a flag is hung
    • Lamppost, a raised source of light on the edge of a road
    • Totem pole, monumental sculptures carved from great trees
    • Utility pole, also called a telephone pole, telegraph pole or power pole, a pole that carries utility wires
    • Poles used in sporting and other activities:
      • Dance pole, a pole used for pole dancing
      • Festivus pole, a pole used in the celebration of Festivus that is traditionally made of aluminum
      • Maypole, a tall wooden pole with ornaments, like ribbons, that is danced around
      • Pole bending, a rodeo event that involves riding a horse around six poles arranged in a line
      • Pole vaulting pole, a pole used for pole vaulting
      • Pole-sitting pole, a pole used for pole sitting, which is the practice of sitting on a pole for extended lengths of time
      • Ski pole, a pole used by skiers to improve balance, speed and acceleration
      • Spinnaker pole, a spar used in sailboats to help support and control a variety of headsails, particularly the spinnaker
      • Trekking pole, also called hiking sticks or hiking poles, a pole used for hiking
    • Fishing pole, another name for fishing rod
    • Pole position, in motorsport, the position at the front of the grid (originally marked with a pole)
    • Another name for the rod, a unit of length equal to 11 cubits, 5.0292 meters or 16.5 feet (originally the length of a metal rod, or pole)


  • Geographical pole, either of two fixed points on the surface of a spinning body or planet, at 90 degrees from the equator, based on the axis around which a body spins
    • North Pole, the northernmost point on the surface of the Earth, where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface
    • Polar circle, a circle of latitude where the sun is above and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year
    • Polar climate, the climate of the polar regions, characterized by a lack of warm summers
    • Polar region, the region within the polar circles, referred to as the Arctic and Antarctic
    • South Pole, the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth, where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface
  • Magnetic pole
    • North Magnetic Pole, the shifting point on the Earth to which the "north" end of a dipole magnet points
    • South Magnetic Pole, the shifting point on the Earth to which the "south" end of a dipole magnet points
  • Mount Everest, the third "top" of the Earth
  • Pole of inaccessibility, a location that is the most challenging to reach owing to its remoteness from geographical features which could provide access


  • Celestial pole, the projection of the Earth's axis onto the celestial sphere (or analogous concept applied to other bodies)
  • Pole star, a visible star that is approximately aligned with the Earth's axis of rotation
  • Orbital pole
  • For concepts analogous to the Earth's geographic and magnetic poles on other planets and Solar System bodies, see Poles of astronomical bodies

Science and mathematics

  • One "half" of a dipole
  • Pole, a term used in electrical circuits referring to switches.
  • Pole (complex analysis), a certain type of mathematical singularity
  • Pole (geometry), a point that describes the position and orientation of a line with respect to a given circle
  • Landau pole, the energy scale where a coupling constant of a quantum field theory becomes infinite
  • Monopole
    • Magnetic monopole, a hypothetical particle that may be loosely described as a magnet with only one pole
    • Monopole (mathematics), a connection over a principal bundle G with a section (the Higgs field) of the associated adjoint bundle
    • Monopole (wine), an appellation controlled by a single winery
    • Monopole antenna, a radio antenna that replaces half of a dipole antenna with a ground plane at right-angles to the remaining half



  • Poles, people originating from or inhabiting the country of Poland
  • Pole (musician), an electronic music artist named Stefan Betke

As a surname

Other uses

See also

Search another word or see poleon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature