polarization

noun
po·​lar·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌpō-lə-rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce polarization (audio) \

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
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

Now there is hard data showing political polarization caused quite a few people to skip the pie. Lydia Denworth, Scientific American, "Thanksgiving Dinner May End Sooner If Guests Pass the Gravy across a Partisan Divide," 1 June 2018 Southern Democrats’ ideological proximity to conservative Republicans reduced polarization and facilitated bipartisanship. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The political tribalism of Andrew Sullivan," 11 Dec. 2018 But, whatever polarization one photon has, the entangled one has the opposite. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Entanglement allows one party to control measurement results," 16 Sep. 2018 The polarization in Turkey has meant that the conservative Saadet Party has emerged as a kingmaker, making overtures to the secular CHP that have been met with applause by the half of the country seeking to unseat Erdogan. Umar Farooq, latimes.com, "Turkish President Erdogan faces an alliance of opposition parties looking to remove him from office," 2 May 2018 With Covington and now this, a rush to judgment rooted in a false view of this country’s values produced, as Chief Johnson noted, more gratuitous anxiety and polarization. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Smollett Hoaxers," 21 Feb. 2019 Children’s literature is often criticized as simplistic or reductive, portraying an unrealistic polarization between good and evil. Maria Devlin Mcnair, BostonGlobe.com, "How children’s literature became everybody’s literature," 5 May 2018 Trump-era polarization is the thing on which every analyst must have a theory. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "‘Fault Lines’ Review: How Did We Get Here?," 13 Jan. 2019 Over email, Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson suggested that polarization is part of the answer. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The messy reality of Donald Trump’s poll numbers," 5 July 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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Last Updated

17 Apr 2019

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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 How to pronounce polarisation (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on polarization

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polarization

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polarization

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