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

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 Other doctors believed Pound was bipolar or manic depressive, and St. Elizabeths doctor E. Fuller Torrey believed that Pound faked his symptoms to dodge the death penalty. Wayne Catan, idahostatesman, "Book delves into intriguing, misunderstood, maddening mind of Idaho-born Ezra Pound," 8 June 2018 The important thing is that people who suffer from bipolar II and other mental health conditions get the right treatment in a timely manner—and often because of the stigma, that doesn't happen. Amy Brightfield, Woman's Day, "Catherine Zeta-Jones and bipolar disorder," 14 Apr. 2011 Members of America’s increasingly bipolar electorate now chart two very different futures for both our country and our state. charlotteobserver, "Ashley Christensen," 3 July 2018 Cheers to her for not hiding her bipolar condition. Ed Stockly,, "Calendar Letters: Jane Pauley, John McCain, Roseanne Barr and more," 31 May 2018 What’s different this cycle is the speed: a bipolar burst of seemingly instant high, followed by a crashing low with nuclear threats from both sides again suddenly on the table — all within 60 days. James Stavridis, Time, "I Served with the Military Leaders Shaping America’s North Korea Plan. Here’s What They’ll Do Next," 24 May 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

7 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for bipolar

The first known use of bipolar was in 1806

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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

Comments on bipolar

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