Definition of polarize
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
: 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.
Recent Examples of polarize from the Web
But unfortunately polarized media tends to polarize it even further.
A: Normally with wedding quandaries, behavior starts to get so extreme and polarized so as to create caricatures.
Yes, James has spoken out on polarizing sociopolitical issues and even attached himself to Hillary Clinton near the end of her presidential campaign.
But Alan Wake seems to be good at polarizing opinion on Game People right now.
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
First Known Use: 1811See Words from the same year
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
What made you want to look up polarize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).