unit

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: 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 see also international unit
3
a
: 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 matériel)
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

2 of 2

adjective

: 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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
One Iraqi biological weapons program started as a unit assigned to protect Saddam from being poisoned, something Aziz considered entirely normal. Gideon Rose, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Yesenia’s remains were found inside a metal container in a storage unit on Jan. 22. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 19 Feb. 2024 Police said in a news release officers got involved shortly after 3 p.m. when a bike unit attempted to move protesters out of the street in the 4300 block of Monroe Road. Joe Marusak, Charlotte Observer, 18 Feb. 2024 The new Hong Kong-Europe fund is pitched as both a pilot and the second step in a government funding expansion, overseen by the venerable Film Development Council, a unit within the civil service. Patrick Frater, Variety, 17 Feb. 2024 While last season’s team was a high-octane unit that could score 80 on anyone, this year’s unit prides itself on gritty defense. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 17 Feb. 2024 There's no out-of-pocket cost for the testing, which is available at the health unit at 614 E. Emma Ave. Al Gaspeny, arkansasonline.com, 17 Feb. 2024 Watson had 28 receptions and five touchdowns in his limited time, but this marks the second straight year injuries have derailed his season. Others such as Malik Heath (15-125-1) help give Green Bay one of the deeper — and tougher units to defend — in the league. Rob Reischel, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Officers assigned to the department’s agriculture unit responded to the remote area. David Goodhue and, Miami Herald, 16 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'unit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

back-formation from unity

First Known Use

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

1633, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unit was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near unit

Cite this Entry

“Unit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unit. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

unit

1 of 2 noun
1
a
: the first and smallest natural number : one
b
: a single quantity regarded as a whole in calculation
2
: a definite quantity (as of length, time, or value) used as a standard of measurement
the dollar is the unit of U.S. money
3
a
: a single thing or person or group that is a part of a whole
b
: a part or arrangement of parts performing one function
a train drawn by two diesel units
c
: a part of a school course with a central theme

unit

2 of 2 adjective
: being, relating to, or measuring one unit of
unit length
unit angle

Medical Definition

unit

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on unit

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