polarize
verb (-ized; -izing) Etymology: French polariser, from New Latin polaris polar Date: 1811 transitive verb 1. to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern 2. to give physical polarity to 3. to break up into opposing factions or groupings <
a campaign that polarized the electorate
>
4. concentrate 1 <
recreate a cohesive rock community by polarizing…an amorphous, fragmented audience — Ellen Willis
>
intransitive verb to become polarized • polarizability nounpolarizable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • polarize — UK US (UK also polarise) /ˈpəʊləraɪz/ verb [T] ► to cause people or opinions to be divided into two opposing groups: »The subject of interest rates continues to polarize the business community …   Financial and business terms

  • Polarize — Po lar*ize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Polarized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Polarizing}.] [Cf. F. polariser.] To communicate polarity to. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • polarize — verb break up into opposing factions, contrapose, contrast, oppose, pit against one another, put in opposition Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • polarize — (v.) 1811, from Fr. polariser, coined by French physicist Étienne Louis Malus (1775 1812) as a term in optics. Transferred sense of to accentuate a division in a group or system is first recorded 1949 in Arthur Koestler. Related: Polarized;… …   Etymology dictionary

  • polarize — (Amer.) po·lar·ize || pəʊlÉ™raɪz v. separate into opposing groups, contrapose; give polarity to something, cause an item to have unequally distributed characteristics (also polarise) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • polarize — (also polarise) ► VERB 1) divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of beliefs. 2) Physics restrict the vibrations of (a transverse wave, especially light) to one direction. 3) give magnetic or electric polarity to. DERIVATIVES… …   English terms dictionary

  • polarize — [pō′lə rīz΄] vt. polarized, polarizing [Fr polariser < polaire < ML polaris, POLAR] 1. to give polarity to; produce polarization in 2. to cause to divide into two opposing groups, as through a disagreement over policy vi. to acquire… …   English World dictionary

  • polarize — v. (D; intr., tr.) to polarize into (polarized into opposing camps) * * * [ pəʊləraɪz] (D; intr., tr.) to polarize into (polarized into opposing camps) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • polarize — UK [ˈpəʊləraɪz] / US [ˈpoʊləˌraɪz] verb [intransitive/transitive] Word forms polarize : present tense I/you/we/they polarize he/she/it polarizes present participle polarizing past tense polarized past participle polarized to form two very… …   English dictionary

  • polarize — verb Polarize is used with these nouns as the object: ↑country, ↑society …   Collocations dictionary

  • polarize — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) v. orient, align, concentrate, gather; split, separate, dichotomize, oppose. See opposition. II (Roget s 3 Superthesaurus) (VOCABULARY WORD) v. [POH luh RIZE] to take opposing sides. Certain issues have… …   English dictionary for students

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