polarize

verb po·lar·ize \ ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of polarize

polarized; polarizing
transitive verb
1 :to cause to vibrate in a definite pattern
  • polarize light waves
2 :to give physical polarity to
3 :to break up into opposing factions or groupings
  • a campaign that polarized the electorate
4 :concentrate 1
  • recreate a cohesive rock community by polarizing … an amorphous, fragmented audience
  • —Ellen Willis
intransitive verb
:to become polarized

polarizability

play \ˌpō-lə-ˌrī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

Examples of polarize in a Sentence

  1. The war has polarized the nation.

  2. The current debate polarizes along lines of class and race.

Recent Examples of polarize from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polarize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of polarize

French polariser, from New Latin polaris polar


POLARIZE Defined for English Language Learners

polarize

verb

Definition of polarize for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (people, opinions, etc.) to separate into opposing groups

  • physics : to cause (something, such as light waves) to vibrate in a particular pattern

  • physics : to cause (something) to have positive and negative charges : to give polarity to (something)


Medical Dictionary

polarize

verb po·lar·ize
variants: also British polarise play \ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz\

medical Definition of polarize

polarized also British polarised; polarizing also British polarising
transitive verb
1 :to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern
2 :to give physical polarity to
intransitive verb
:to become polarized


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