uni·​po·​lar | \ ˌyü-ni-ˈpō-lər How to pronounce unipolar (audio) \

Definition of unipolar

1 : having or oriented in respect to a single pole: such as
a : having or involving the use of a single magnetic or electrical pole
b : based on or controlled by a single factor or view China mistrusts a unipolar, U.S.-dominated world.— Thomas A. Stewart
2 : not accompanied by episodes of mania unipolar depression also : relating to, affected with, or being a mood disorder in which there are only episodes of depression or rarely only episodes of mania unipolar patients

Examples of unipolar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The book, published in 1987, came out just before the fall of the Soviet Union and America’s unipolar moment of glory. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "Donald Trump’s Great Reveal," 20 Oct. 2020 But this does not mean anyone wants to return to a unipolar world. Parag Khanna, Quartz, "Everyone has moved past the US-China trade war—except the US and China," 16 Dec. 2019 The countries in Asia have no desire to be dominated in a unipolar world by either China or us. CBS News, "Transcript: Senator Michael Bennet talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 27 Nov. 2019 Scholarship frequently examines how rising powers like China challenge the geopolitics of a unipolar world dominated by the United States. Thomas Gift, Twin Cities, "Thomas Gift: China has reasons to keep fighting a trade war," 5 Sep. 2019 Clinton’s views of America’s relations with Russia date back to the unipolar triumphalism of the 1990s and found clear expression during her time as secretary of state. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, "Democracy and Its Discontents," 6 June 2019 Our best hope for safety in such times, as in difficult times past, is in American strength and will: the strength to recognize the unipolar world and the will to lead it. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Charles Krauthammer was a crucial New Republic voice for nearly a quarter century. RIP.," 22 June 2018 In comparison, the current risky global transition — from unipolar U.S. leadership to America First, combined with a rising China and an anti-American Russia — highlights the danger of an inexperienced American leader. Trudy Rubin, Philly.com, "A trip to Texas and the sad contrast between Bush 41's foreign policy and Trump's," 12 Sep. 2017 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to forestall a unipolar Asia. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "A Road Brings China and India Closer to Conflict in the Himalayas," 2 Aug. 2017

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

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First Known Use of unipolar

1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of unipolar was in 1806

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Last Updated

2 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Unipolar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unipolar. Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for unipolar


uni·​po·​lar | \ ˌyü-ni-ˈpō-lər How to pronounce unipolar (audio) \

Medical Definition of unipolar

1 : involving or being an electrode or lead attached to the surface of a bodily site (as the chest) for recording the difference in electrical potential between the site and that of another electrode or lead having zero potential
2 of a neuron : having but one process
3 : relating to or being a manic-depressive disorder in which there is a depressive phase only unipolar depression — compare bipolar

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