international unit


Definition of international unit

: a quantity of a biologically active substance (such as a vitamin) that produces a particular biological effect agreed upon as an international standard

Examples of international unit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lufthansa earlier this year abandoned an auction process for the international unit. William Wilkes,, 3 June 2020 In the study of respiratory illness and vitamin D, the dose was equivalent to about 3,330 international units daily. Tara Parker-pope, New York Times, 10 Mar. 2020 In the television realm, CGTN, the international unit of the state broadcaster, now has English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian channels, available in more than 170 countries. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2020 While that’s helped return the international unit to profit, margins are vanishingly thin. Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2019 First, revenue from their international units will wind up looking weaker when it gets translated back into American dollars. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 30 Sep. 2019 The dollar would retain its status as the international unit of account for a while – but gradually, a dwindling supply would cause more and more transactions to switch to more readily available currencies. Washington Post, 28 June 2019 Dietary guidelines suggest most adults get at least 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. NBC News, 14 June 2018 Last year, revenue inched up 1.7% in the international unit after two years of large drops. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 5 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'international unit.' 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 international unit

1921, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of international unit was in 1921

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Dictionary Entries Near international unit

international temperature scale

international unit


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Cite this Entry

“International unit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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international unit


Medical Definition of international unit

: the amount of specific physiological activity of a standardized preparation (as of a vitamin) that is agreed upon as an international standard especially for comparison with other biologicals containing the substance in impure form or with a related biologically active substance also : the amount of the biologically active substance in the standard amount of the preparation producing this activity

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