\ ˈyü-nət How to pronounce unit (audio) \

Definition of unit

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the first and least natural number : one
b : a single quantity regarded as a whole in calculation
2 : a determinate quantity (as of length, time, heat, or value) adopted as a standard of measurement: such as
a : an amount of work used in education in calculating student credits
b : an amount of a biologically active agent (such as a drug or antigen) required to produce a specific result — compare international unit
3a : a single thing, person, or group that is a constituent of a whole
b : a part of a military establishment that has a prescribed organization (as of personnel and materiel)
c : a piece or complex of apparatus serving to perform one particular function
d : a part of a school course focusing on a central theme
e : a local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses
f : a small molecule especially when combined in a larger molecule repeating units of a polymer
g : an area in a medical facility and especially a hospital that is specially staffed and equipped to provide a particular type of care an intensive care unit



Definition of unit (Entry 2 of 2)

: being, relating to, or measuring one unit

Examples of unit in a Sentence

Noun The family is the basic unit of society. The search party broke up into smaller units. Their army unit guarded the border. Feet and meters are units of length. The dollar is the principal unit of American currency.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His unit was inside of a building owned by the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority. Amber Hunt, The Enquirer, "Backstory: Shooting death of 91-year-old Rufus Kelley still unsolved 9 years later," 4 Apr. 2021 Every microwave is different, so this may require a bit of experimentation with your unit. Angie Parkinson, chicagotribune.com, "How to clean a microwave," 2 Apr. 2021 The concept of relying on police only when they're absolutely needed has been gaining traction across the country, with San Francisco being the first big city to actually launch its own unit. Chris James, CNN, "There's a new approach to police response to mental health emergencies. Taking the police out of it," 2 Apr. 2021 Big Hit Entertainment, which is changing its name to HYBE, is investing 1.07 trillion won ($950 million) into its U.S. unit to acquire Ithaca Holdings LLC, led by music impresario Scooter Braun. Shinhye Kang, Fortune, "K-pop agency that launched BTS into superstardom buys Bieber manager’s firm for $1 billion," 2 Apr. 2021 In January, the Federal Reserve hired the respected regulator Kevin Stiroh to lead its climate unit; the Commodities Futures Trading Commission established a Climate Risk Unit this month. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "The Weekly Planet: Biden’s New Playbook for Greening the Financial System," 30 Mar. 2021 Most customers live within a three-block radius and use their unit to stow occasional-use items like skis and car seats, Mr. Smyth says. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "NYC’s Self-Storage Business is Booming in Unusual Places," 30 Mar. 2021 Over the past 14 months, Steward has been renovating the hospital, including $1.5 million in telemetry services improvements, $1.2 million in operating room upgrades and $400,000 on its Level III neonatal intenstive care unit. Laura Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio South Side hospital gets major updates and new name: Texas Vista Medical Center," 30 Mar. 2021 Ackley, after getting an earful on his headset for his unit’s insubordination, found Togiai as the defense came off the field. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Tommy Togiai hoping to add another feat of strength to his growing legend," 29 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Records show Stincone lives in a multi-unit apartment in 3300 block of SE Third St., south of E. Atlantic Blvd. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "A man she did not know burst into her home at 2 a.m., cops say. Her quick thinking may have saved her life.," 30 Mar. 2021 Tomeeka Brown, 44; Anthony Johnson, 35; Dequan Moore, 23; and Eve Moore, 7; were found inside a multi-unit residence in the 300 block of North Randolph Street. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis quadruple homicide: Unanswered questions about the Randolph Street killings," 16 Mar. 2021 Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, South Carolina and Texas are part of the company’s multi-unit franchise growth initiative. Tandra Smith | Tsmith@al.com, al, "Noodles and Company pasta franchise looks to expand across Alabama," 5 Mar. 2021 According to city documents, chickens would not be allowed in the residential multi-unit low zoning district that allows densities of up to eight units per acre. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After lengthy debate, Oconomowoc officials are still deciding whether chickens will be allowed in the city," 19 Feb. 2021 San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors reversed course on banning smoking in multi-unit buildings on a perfunctory second vote - a rare move - after protests from residents who said they could be hurt under the law. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "S.F. reverses course on tobacco smoking ban inside apartment buildings, seeks more review," 8 Dec. 2020 The city cites several downtown multi-unit housing projects as spurred or helped by easy access to CTfastrak, with the $58 million, 80-apartment Columbus Commons project as the centerpiece. Don Stacom, courant.com, "West Hartford decides to hold off — for now — on more gas stations, car washes or similar businesses near CTfastrak stations," 3 Dec. 2020 Santa Clara, which passed its ordinance in 2019, bans both cannabis and tobacco smoking in multi-unit residences. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, "San Francisco is poised to ban smoking in apartments and condos — but cannabis is exempt," 2 Dec. 2020 Efforts to build multi-unit condominiums and apartments in single-family-home neighborhoods will still run into great resistance. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Pro-housing movement gets boost from election, approval of new guidelines," 13 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unit.' 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 unit


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1633, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for unit


back-formation from unity

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Statistics for unit

Last Updated

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unit. Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unit



English Language Learners Definition of unit

: a single thing, person, or group that is a part of something larger
: a part of a hospital where a particular type of care is provided
: a particular amount of length, time, money, etc., that is used as a standard for counting or measuring


\ ˈyü-nət How to pronounce unit (audio) \

Kids Definition of unit

1 : a single thing, person, or group forming part of a whole There are 36 units in my apartment building.
2 : the least whole number : one
3 : a fixed quantity (as of length, time, or value) used as a standard of measurement An inch is a unit of length.
4 : a part of a school course with a central theme


\ ˈyü-nət How to pronounce unit (audio) \

Medical Definition of unit

1 : an amount of a biologically active agent (as a drug or antigen) required to produce a specific result under strictly controlled conditions a unit of penicillin — see international unit
2 : a small molecule especially when combined in a larger molecule repeating units of a polymer
3 : an area in a medical facility and especially a hospital that is specially staffed and equipped to provide a particular type of care an intensive care unit

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More from Merriam-Webster on unit

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for unit

Nglish: Translation of unit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unit for Arabic Speakers

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