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

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 The film is also an example of a new category of entertainment in the Trump era: stories about the economic dynamics that have led the country to its current state of political polarization. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "“American Factory,” a New Netflix Film from the Obamas, Explores the Challenges of a Globalized Economy," 19 Aug. 2019 These beam splitters are designed to make photons with one type of polarization go one way and the rest go the other way. Anil Ananthaswamy, Scientific American, "Spin-Swapping Particles Could Be “Quantum Cheshire Cats”," 6 May 2019 This polarization system resembles the Turing-pattern model for the mechanisms that may guide the formation of spots or stripes. Quanta Magazine, "For Embryo’s Cells, Size Can Determine Fate," 12 Aug. 2019 As political polarization in Washington and across the nation has deepened, mass shootings have gotten deadlier. California Newspapers Partnership Editorial Boards, The Mercury News, "Editorial: We must put public safety before politics to save American lives," 11 Aug. 2019 Decrying polarization has become a way of impugning adversaries. Robert B. Talisse, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: Political polarization is about feelings, not facts, and animosity is growing," 9 Aug. 2019 This is how nationalization fuels winner-take-all polarization. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "Neither Left nor Right Has Proper Remedy for America’s Illness," 7 Aug. 2019 Consider, for instance, a photon, which can exhibit either horizontal or vertical polarization. Daniel Garisto, Scientific American, "“Qutrit” Experiments Are a First in Quantum Teleportation," 6 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.

See More

First Known Use of polarization

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polarization

Statistics for polarization

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polarization

The first known use of polarization was in 1812

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on polarization

What made you want to look up polarization? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!