polarization

noun
po·​lar·​i·​za·​tion | \ˌpō-lə-rə-ˈzā-shən \

Definition of polarization 

1 : the action of polarizing or state of being or becoming polarized: such as

a(1) : the action or process of affecting radiation and especially light so that the vibrations of the wave assume a definite form

(2) : the state of radiation affected by this process

b : an increase in the resistance of an electrolytic cell often caused by the deposition of gas on one or both electrodes

c : magnetization

2a : division into two opposites

b : concentration about opposing extremes of groups or interests formerly ranged on a continuum

Examples of polarization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Unless political polarization and constitutional hardball somehow abates, rather than worsens, by 2021, the Republican caucus is quite likely to adopt a similar strategy then. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "The Senate is a huge problem for Democrats," 8 Nov. 2018 None of this will give comfort to anyone worried about the synergistic relationship between political polarization and Facebook engagement. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Four ways the internet changed the midterm elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Like many other observers, Mr. Salvanto is glad for the rising voter turnout of recent years but laments the polarization and rancor that seem to accompany (or produce) it. Michael Barone, WSJ, "‘Where Did You Get This Number?’ Review: Counting the Vote Ahead of Time," 4 Nov. 2018 But this is Wisconsin, ground zero for partisan polarization, so even this election is a cage match. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Election Is Going To Be A Barnburner," 1 Apr. 2018 But at this time of the deepest political polarization in memory, old-fashioned modes of protest feel oddly appropriate. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "Monday’s downtown traffic jam was part of a national antipoverty campaign," 12 June 2018 Both parties complain about the polarization of American politics, but what can individual citizens do about it? Walter Sinnott-armstrong, WSJ, "To Get Along Better, We Need Better Arguments," 12 July 2018 This is the culmination of DeMonaco’s seething Purge scenarios, which have become increasingly focused on polarization and rage. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'First Purge': Not worth the splurge," 3 July 2018 But the extreme polarization of American politics has seeped into everyday life. Emily Dreyfuss, WIRED, "Trump Stokes Outrage in Silicon Valley—But It's Selective," 20 June 2018

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

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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13 Nov 2018

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The first known use of polarization was in 1812

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More Definitions for polarization

polarization

noun
po·​lar·​iza·​tion
variants: also British polarisation \ ˌpō-​lə-​rə-​ˈzā-​shən \

Medical Definition of polarization 

: the action of polarizing or state of being or becoming polarized: as

a(1) : the action or process of affecting radiation and especially light so that the vibrations of the wave assume a definite form

(2) : the state of radiation affected by this process

b : an increase in the resistance of an electrolytic cell caused by the deposition of gas on one or both electrodes

c : magnetization

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polarization

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