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verb po·lar·ize \ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz\

Simple Definition of polarize

  • : to cause (people, opinions, etc.) to separate into opposing groups

  • physics : to cause (something, such as light waves) to vibrate in a particular pattern

  • physics : to cause (something) to have positive and negative charges : to give polarity to (something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of polarize



  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern

  3. 2 :  to give physical polarity to

  4. 3 :  to break up into opposing factions or groupings <a campaign that polarized the electorate>

  5. 4 :  concentrate 1 <recreate a cohesive rock community by polarizing … an amorphous, fragmented audience — Ellen Willis>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to become polarized


play \ˌpō-lə-ˌrī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun


play \ˌpō-lə-ˈrī-zə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of polarize in a sentence

  1. The war has polarized the nation.

  2. The current debate polarizes along lines of class and race.

Origin and Etymology of polarize

French polariser, from New Latin polaris polar

First Known Use: 1811

Rhymes with polarize

advertise, agonize, alchemize, analyze, anglicize, anodize, anywise, aphorize, arborize, atomize, authorize, autolyze, balkanize, barbarize, bastardize, bestialize, bolshevize, booby prize, botanize, bowdlerize, brutalize, canalize, canonize, capsulize, caramelize, carbonize, cartelize, catalyze, catechize, cauterize, centralize, channelize, Christianize, cicatrize, circumcise, civilize, classicize, colonize, colorize, communize, compromise, concertize, concretize, creolize, criticize, customize, demonize, deputize, dialyze, digitize, disfranchise, dogmatize, dramatize, elegize, empathize, emphasize, energize, enfranchise, enterprise, equalize, erotize, eternize, etherize, eulogize, euphemize, exercise, exorcise, factorize, fantasize, federalize, feminize, fertilize, feudalize, fictionize, finalize, focalize, formalize, formulize, fossilize, fragmentize, fraternize, gallicize, galvanize, germanize, ghettoize, glamorize, globalize, gormandize, gothicize, gourmandize, grecianize, harmonize, heathenize, hebraize, hellenize, heroize, hierarchize, humanize, hybridize, hypnotize, idolize, immunize, iodize, ionize, ironize, Islamize, itemize, jeopardize, journalize, Judaize, laicize, latinize, legalize, lionize, liquidize, localize, magnetize, marbleize, martyrize, maximize, mechanize, melanize, melodize, memorize, merchandise, mesmerize, methodize, metricize, minimize, mobilize, modernize, moisturize, mongrelize, moralize, motorize, mythicize, narcotize, nasalize, nebulize, neutralize, normalize, notarize, novelize, obelize, odorize, optimize, organize, ostracize, otherwise, oversize, oxidize, paganize, palletize, paradise, paralyze, pasteurize, patronize, pauperize, penalize, penny-wise, personalize, pidginize, plasticize, Platonize, pluralize, pocket-size, poetize, polemize, pressurize, privatize, profitwise, prussianize, publicize, pulverize, racialize, randomize, rationalize, realize, recognize, rhapsodize, robotize, romanize, sanitize, satirize, scandalize, schematize, schismatize, scrutinize, sensitize, sermonize, signalize, simonize, sinicize, slenderize, sloganize, socialize, sodomize, solarize, solemnize, specialize, stabilize, Stalinize, standardize, sterilize, stigmatize, strategize, subsidize, summarize, supervise, syllogize, symbolize, sympathize, synchronize, syncretize, synopsize, synthesize, systemize, tantalize, televise, temporize, tenderize, terrorize, tetanize, teutonize, texturize, theorize, thermalize, totalize, tranquilize, traumatize, tyrannize, unionize, unitize, urbanize, utilize, valorize, vandalize, vaporize, verbalize, vernalize, victimize, vitalize, vocalize, vulcanize, vulgarize, weather-wise, weatherize, westernize, winterize, womanize, worldly-wise

Medical Dictionary


verb po·lar·ize

Medical Definition of polarize


also British




also British


  1. 1

  2. transitive verb

  3. :  to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern

  4. 2:  to give physical polarity to

  5. intransitive verb

  6. :  to become polarized

Variants of polarize

also British



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