unit

noun
\ˈyü-nət \

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

unit

adjective

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

Van der Kleij’s unit will work to establish global standards for issuing, selling and distributing digital assets. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "How Seven Stars Cloud Plans To Spend $283M In West Hartford," 14 July 2018 Even next to Alabama’s other great defenses of the past decade, this unit was special. Ben Ladner, SI.com, "The 10 Best National Championship Game Performances of the BCS Era," 13 July 2018 Like the Spetsnaz, the military’s signals intelligence units have a storied history stretching deep into the Cold War. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "G.R.U., Russian Spy Agency Cited by Mueller, Casts a Long Shadow," 13 July 2018 Louisville Metro Police's traffic unit is investigating. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville police investigate officer's head-on collision on Broadway," 12 July 2018 Instead, staff recommends a progressive model that starts with a $333 base fee and $9 for each unit. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Newport Beach City Council considers increasing fees for fire inspections," 11 July 2018 The three-bedroom, two-bathroom units start at $170,000. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Federal suit against disgraced Tundra Village developer goes to trial," 11 July 2018 The commission ruled on July 5 that Delashaw, who was featured in a Seattle Times investigation about Swedish Health’s neuroscience unit, must submit to three years of oversight and cannot be employed in a position of medical leadership. Sandi Doughton, The Seattle Times, "Former Swedish surgeon Johnny Delashaw gets his license back, with restrictions," 10 July 2018 An ax and three pairs of shoes and gloves were found later when police and an anti-poaching unit arrived. NBC News, "Rhino poachers eaten by lions on South African game reserve," 6 July 2018

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

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1633, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for unit

Noun

back-formation from unity

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Statistics for unit

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unit

The first known use of unit was in 1570

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More Definitions for unit

unit

noun

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

unit

noun
\ˈyü-nət \

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

unit

noun
\ˈyü-nət \

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

Spanish Central: Translation of unit

Nglish: Translation of unit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unit for Arabic Speakers

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