uni·​tary | \ ˈyü-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce unitary (audio) \

Definition of unitary

1a : of or relating to a unit
b : based on or characterized by unity or units
2 : having the character of a unit : undivided, whole

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from unitary

unitarily \ ˌyü-​nə-​ˈter-​ə-​lē How to pronounce unitarily (audio) \ adverb

Examples of unitary in a Sentence

the formation of a unitary state

Recent Examples on the Web

One reason is that gay and trans rights doesn’t describe a single, unitary political movement. Laurie Marhoefer, Quartz, "From gay Nazis to “we’re here, we’re queer”: A century of arguing about gay pride," 20 June 2019 Christianity also shares a certain kind of internal division with Hinduism, over whether and in what ways the godhead is unitary or multiple. Andrew Stark, WSJ, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 16 Nov. 2018 After their victory in 1714 in the War of the Spanish Succession, in which most of the Catalan elite had ended up backing the losing Austrian side, the victorious Bourbons imposed an absolute and unitary monarchy. The Economist, "The siren call of separatism," 12 July 2018 Welshpool is a town in Wales, historically in the county of Montgomeryshire, but currently administered as part of the unitary authority of Powys. Brianna Wiest, Teen Vogue, "Timmy Turner's Hat on "The Fairly OddParents" Was Pink for a Specific Reason," 2 July 2018 Because our country is organized into 50 states changes in political direction come harder than in unitary systems. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Dems didn't learn the lesson from West Virginia," 2 May 2018 If a judge professes to be an originalist like Justice Antonin Scalia, she should be asked how unitary executive theory can be squared with originalism. Peter M. Shane, Slate Magazine, "The Most Important Question for Trump Judicial Nominees," 5 July 2017 Hamilton’s idea of a unitary nation, steered by a benevolent elite, has given way to a fractious and pluralistic republic where industries have their own narrow lobbies and members of Congress have separate ethnic caucuses. Jason Willick, WSJ, "Identity Politics Began in the American Revolution," 15 Dec. 2017 So the logical economic strategy is to create a 'region' or small nation focused on one big city, and develop the suburban and rural economy in synergy with that city, not the bigger unitary state. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Whatever happens in Catalonia, its anger with Spain is a sign of things to come," 27 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of unitary

circa 1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about unitary

Statistics for unitary

Last Updated

28 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for unitary

The first known use of unitary was circa 1790

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for unitary



English Language Learners Definition of unitary

formal : relating to or forming a single unit


uni·​tary | \ ˈyü-nə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce unitary (audio) \

Legal Definition of unitary

1 : having the character of a single thing that is a constituent of a whole specifically : of, relating to, or being a business with subsidiaries in other states or nations that has its state income tax figured by including the subsidiaries' income, determining the portion of that income attributable to activities within the state, and taxing that percentage a unitary business operating throughout the U.S. imposed a unitary tax on a multinational corporation
2 : marked by unity : not dual or segregated : integrated sense 3 a unitary school district

Other Words from unitary

unitariness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on unitary

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with unitary

Spanish Central: Translation of unitary

Nglish: Translation of unitary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unitary for Arabic Speakers

Comments on unitary

What made you want to look up unitary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!