polarize


po·lar·ize

verb \ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz\

: 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)

po·lar·izedpo·lar·iz·ing

Full Definition of POLARIZE

transitive verb
1
:  to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern
2
:  to give physical polarity to
3
:  to break up into opposing factions or groupings <a campaign that polarized the electorate>
4
:  concentrate 1 <recreate a cohesive rock community by polarizing … an amorphous, fragmented audience — Ellen Willis>
intransitive verb
:  to become polarized
po·lar·iz·abil·i·ty \ˌpō-lə-ˌrī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
po·lar·iz·able \ˌpō-lə-ˈrī-zə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of POLARIZE

  1. The war has polarized the nation.
  2. The current debate polarizes along lines of class and race.

Origin 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

po·lar·ize

verb    (Medical Dictionary)
po·lar·ized also British po·lar·isedpo·lar·iz·ing also British po·lar·is·ing

Medical Definition of POLARIZE

transitive verb
1
: to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern
2
: to give physical polarity to
intransitive verb
: to become polarized

Variants of POLARIZE

po·lar·ize also British po·lar·ise \ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz\

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: polarized–relay armature
Previous Word in the Dictionary: polarization figure
All Words Near: polarize

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up polarize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More