bi·​po·​lar | \ (ˌ)bī-ˈpō-lər How to pronounce bipolar (audio) \

Definition of bipolar

1 : having or marked by two mutually repellent forces or diametrically opposed natures or views
2a : having or involving the use of two poles or polarities bipolar generators bipolar ECG leads
b electronics : relating to, being, or using a transistor in which both electrons and holes (see hole entry 1 sense 1b(3)) are utilized as charge carriers (see carrier sense 2e)
3 : relating to, associated with, or occurring in both polar (see polar entry 1 sense 1a) regions bipolar species of birds
4 psychology : being, characteristic of, or affected with a bipolar disorder bipolar patients

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Other Words from bipolar

bipolarity \ ˌbī-​pō-​ˈler-​ə-​tē How to pronounce bipolarity (audio) , -​ˈla-​rə-​ \ noun
bipolarization \ (ˌ)bī-​ˌpō-​lə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce bipolarization (audio) \ noun
bipolarize \ (ˌ)bī-​ˈpō-​lə-​ˌrīz How to pronounce bipolarize (audio) \ transitive verb

Examples of bipolar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the jail population has dropped in recent years, a greater percentage of the inmates who remain at Rikers have a history of mental illness, from schizophrenia to bipolar and depression disorders. New York Times, "‘They Saw Him Hanging and Did Nothing’: A Teen’s Agony in Rikers," 12 Dec. 2019 Show star Claire Danes, who plays the brilliant and bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison, was also bummed about Max’s demise. Joe Flint, WSJ, "‘Homeland’ Tends to Kill Off Its Stars. How Is Max Piotrowski Still Alive?," 3 Feb. 2020 In addition to autism, Coyne also lives with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "No one would hire this man with autism. He opened his own coffee shop and now hires employees with special needs," 2 Dec. 2019 While on the pricier side, this skin tightening machine uses the latest bipolar radio frequency technology, which the brand says stimulates collagen and elastin production. Popular Science, "Delightful devices for at-home facials," 6 Feb. 2020 Not that writing about being bipolar and an addict cured her. Douglass K. Daniel,, "Review: Carrie Fisher bio as sharp, endearing as its subject," 31 Dec. 2019 Just as important was the global prestige the launch provided the Soviets—a vital commodity in a bipolar world, riven by the capitalist-communist, West-East divide. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Nikita Khrushchev’s Son Watched his Father Lose the Space Race. 50 Years After the Moon Landing, He Holds No Grudge," 2 July 2019 Rentzel was a senior at Rice University when her first bipolar episode struck. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "‘Relapse is part of the journey’: Dallas lawyer enlists colleagues to help watch for bipolar symptoms," 8 Jan. 2020 Jimenez Joseph had been diagnosed with acute psychosis and schizoaffective disorder-bipolar type and had attempted suicide on several occasions. USA Today, "Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bipolar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bipolar

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Time Traveler for bipolar

Time Traveler

The first known use of bipolar was in 1806

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Statistics for bipolar

Last Updated

7 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bipolar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for bipolar


bi·​po·​lar | \ (ˈ)bī-ˈpō-lər \

Medical Definition of bipolar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : involving or being electrodes or leads attached to two different bodily sites (such as the arms and legs) for recording the difference in electrical potential between the two sites bipolar encephalograph leads
2 of a neuron : having an efferent and an afferent process
3 : being, characteristic of, or affected with a bipolar disorder bipolar depression bipolar patients — compare unipolar



Medical Definition of bipolar (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person affected with bipolar disorder

More from Merriam-Webster on bipolar

Nglish: Translation of bipolar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bipolar for Arabic Speakers

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