Definition of polarize
- polarize light waves
- a campaign that polarized the electorate
- recreate a cohesive rock community by polarizing … an amorphous, fragmented audience
- —Ellen Willis
The war has polarized the nation.
The current debate polarizes along lines of class and race.
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.
First Known Use: 1811See Words from the same year
: 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)
What made you want to look up polarize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Namesakes Word Quiz