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

Measurements of just one of the environment photons revealed a lot of the available information about the system photon’s polarization, and measuring an increasing fraction of the environment photons provided diminishing returns. Philip Ball, WIRED, "Quantum Darwinism Could Explain What Makes Reality Real," 28 July 2019 Another idea uses an electric field to change the polarization of a material—a rare earth metal—to warm and cool. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "India is the epicenter of rethinking air conditioning," 26 July 2019 Measurements of just one of the environment photons revealed a lot of the available information about the system photon’s polarization, and measuring an increasing fraction of the environment photons provided diminishing returns. Philip Ball, WIRED, "Quantum Darwinism Could Explain What Makes Reality Real," 28 July 2019 Measurements of just one of the environment photons revealed a lot of the available information about the system photon’s polarization, and measuring an increasing fraction of the environment photons provided diminishing returns. Quanta Magazine, "Quantum Darwinism, an Idea to Explain Objective Reality, Passes First Tests," 22 July 2019 And as Scientific American recently reported, the collapse of local newspapers has exacerbated political polarization, as citizens increasingly rely on national coverage, which prioritizes partisan talking heads and emphasizes political differences. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Democratic Rot and the Origins of American Conspiracism," 3 July 2019 As incident light hits these elements, many of its properties change—including its polarization, intensity, phase and direction of propagation. Alberto Moscatelli, Scientific American, "Tiny Lenses Will Enable Design of Miniature Optical Devices," 1 July 2019 In a time of political hyper-polarization in the U.S., there’s a rare consensus on both the left and right that local zoning restrictions are playing an outsized role in driving up rents in urban cities. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Democrats are proposing a renters tax credit. Would it help or hurt renters?," 24 June 2019 And given the realities of partisan polarization, there probably won’t be much ticket-splitting, so one party will probably win both seats. Paul Waldman, The Denver Post, "Waldman: Democrats’ chances of taking Senate just got better," 28 Aug. 2019

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

16 Oct 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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