Definition of unit
1a : the first and least natural number : oneb : 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 asa : an amount of work used in education in calculating student creditsb : 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 wholeb : 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 functiond : a part of a school course focusing on a central themee : a local congregation of Jehovah's Witnessesf : a small molecule especially when combined in a larger molecule repeating units of a polymerg : 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
Examples of unit in a sentence
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.
Origin and Etymology of unit
back-formation from unity
First Known Use: 1570
Definition of unit
: being, relating to, or measuring one unit
First Known Use of unit
UNIT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of unit for English Language Learners
: 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 Defined for Kids
Definition of unit for Students
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
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
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up unit? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).