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

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Other Words from unitary

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

Examples of unitary in a Sentence

the formation of a unitary state
Recent Examples on the Web The North Little Rock district was declared unitary in December 2011. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 11 May 2021 If the court is satisfied with the facility upgrades, the school districts will be fully unitary and released from oversight. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 11 May 2021 Indeed, the unitary constructs of race reductionism themselves originate from historically specific sources. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, 17 Feb. 2021 Democrats are finally appreciating Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the unitary executive. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 21 Jan. 2021 Despite hopes for peace and development under a unitary government, enduring issues of ethnic conflict and division—based on imbalanced political representation—make clear the dangers of a federation. Francesca Baldwin, Quartz Africa, 10 Nov. 2020 If societies are not in fact unitary, problem-solving entities but heaving contradictions and sites of constant struggle, then their existence is not an all-or-nothing game. Ben Ehrenreich, New York Times, 4 Nov. 2020 Going back to the Reagan administration, conservative constitutional thinking has advocated for a powerful and unitary executive. Mark Tushnet, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2020 But a powerful unitary Democratic president can do a lot of regulatory stuff that conservatives won’t like. Mark Tushnet, Fortune, 27 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of unitary

circa 1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for unitary

Time Traveler

The first known use of unitary was circa 1790

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Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unitary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unitary. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on unitary

Nglish: Translation of unitary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unitary for Arabic Speakers


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