Definition of polarize
1 : to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern
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>
: to become polarized
polarizabilityplay \ˌpō-lə-ˌrī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
polarizableplay \ˌpō-lə-ˈrī-zə-bəl\ adjective
Examples of polarize in a sentence
The war has polarized the nation.
The current debate polarizes along lines of class and race.
Origin and Etymology of polarize
French polariser, from New Latin polaris polar
First Known Use: 1811
POLARIZE Defined for English Language Learners
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 Definition of polarize
Seen and Heard
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