bi·​po·​lar | \(ˌ)bī-ˈpō-lər \

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, -​ˈla-​rə-​ \ noun
bipolarization \(ˌ)bī-​ˌpō-​lə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
bipolarize \(ˌ)bī-​ˈpō-​lə-​ˌrīz \ transitive verb

Examples of bipolar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

She has been diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders. Heather Gillers, WSJ, "‘I Was Hoping to Be Retired’: The Cost of Supporting Parents and Adult Children," 16 Nov. 2018 Do places with more lithium have less depression or bipolar or — most importantly of all — fewer suicides? Dylan Matthews, Vox, "How our drinking water could help prevent suicide," 24 Oct. 2018 Then an opportunity to get coordinated mental and physical health care services helped turn life around for Taylor, who also lives with bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Caroline Covington, Washington Post, "Texas Clinics Busting Traditional Silos Of Mental And Physical Health Care," 9 July 2018 The link between bipolar and other mood disorders and creativity has long been studied. Kate Thayer,, "Bipolar 'is not a death sentence:' Art exhibit aims to reduce stigma," 16 May 2018 Krystie’s father Don said the 29-year-old did suffer from bipolar mood disorder, but was working to be weaned off her medication with her physician’s supervision. Juliet Muir, NBC News, "Family at dead end searching for information on missing daughter Krystie Stuart," 18 Mar. 2018 Carey was diagnosed with bipolar II, a less severe of the disorder which is characterized by dramatic mood swings from highs — called hypomania — to lows, or depression. NBC News, "Why does it take so long to diagnose bipolar disorder?," 11 Apr. 2018 Doctors at the hospital diagnosed Young as bipolar. Chadd Cripe, idahostatesman, "What’s wrong with Titus Young? L.A. Times traces ex-Boise State star’s bizarre descent," 30 Jan. 2018 He subsequently was diagnosed with bipolar and schizophrenic disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Cynthia Hubert, sacbee, "Lodi to pay $2.6 million to family of veteran killed by cops | The Sacramento Bee," 24 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for bipolar

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for bipolar

The first known use of bipolar was in 1806

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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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