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

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 At the end of the Cold War, China did not appear poised to threaten to America's unipolar moment. chicagotribune.com, "America needs a new 'dreadnought strategy'," 28 July 2017 Perhaps a unipolar planet can survive an American global strike arsenal. Noah Shachtman, WIRED, "How To: Risk World War III, and Blow Billions Doing It," 26 Apr. 2010

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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Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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The first known use of unipolar was in 1806

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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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