uni·tary | \ˈyü-nə-ˌter-ē \

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 \ adverb

Examples of unitary in a Sentence

the formation of a unitary state

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Instead the department should defend the president’s unitary role in the separation of powers—a position the Constitution supports. Josh Blackman And, WSJ, "The ‘Resistance’ vs. George Washington," 15 Oct. 2017 As the effects continue to proliferate—devastating governments, businesses, and individual lives—so too does the range of potential causes, rendering any investigation into origins, especially into a unitary origin, fraught if not ultimately futile. Joshua Cohen, WIRED, "The Great Tech Panic: What If All Your Secrets Became Public Information?," 25 Aug. 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.

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First Known Use of unitary

circa 1790, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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The first known use of unitary was circa 1790

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English Language Learners Definition of unitary

: relating to or forming a single unit


uni·tary | \ˈyü-nə-ˌter-ē \

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

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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