polarize

play
verb po·lar·ize \ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz\

Definition of polarize

polarized

;

polarizing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause to vibrate in a definite pattern polarize light waves

  3. 2 :  to give physical polarity to

  4. 3 :  to break up into opposing factions or groupings a campaign that polarized the electorate

  5. 4 :  concentrate 1 recreate a cohesive rock community by polarizing … an amorphous, fragmented audience — Ellen Willis

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to become polarized

polarizability

play \ˌpō-lə-ˌrī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

polarizable

play \ˌpō-lə-ˈrī-zə-bəl\ adjective

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

play
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

\ˈpō-lə-ˌrīz\play

Medical Definition of polarize

polarized

also British

polarised

;

polarizing

also British

polarising

  1. 1

  2. transitive verb

  3. :  to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern

  4. 2:  to give physical polarity to

  5. intransitive verb

  6. :  to become polarized



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