[poh-ler-uh-zey-shuh n] /ˌpoʊ lər əˈzeɪ ʃən/

a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions.
Optics. a state, or the production of a state, in which rays of light or similar radiation exhibit different properties in different directions.
Compare , , .

the production or acquisition of polarity.
the condition of having or giving polarity
(physics) the process or phenomenon in which the waves of light or other electromagnetic radiation are restricted to certain directions of vibration, usually specified in terms of the electric field vector

1812, from polarize + -ation, and in part from French polarisation, noun of action from polariser. Figuratively from 1871; of social and political groups, “accentuation of differences,” from 1945.

polarization po·lar·i·za·tion (pō’lər-ĭ-zā’shən)


In politics, the grouping of opinions around two extremes: “As the debate continued, the union members were polarized into warring factions.”

The direction in which the electrical field of an electromagnetic wave points.

Note: Reflected light, such as the light that produces glare on a sunny day, is polarized so that the electrical field is parallel to the ground. Some sunglasses are designed to take advantage of this property by blocking out that particular polarization while allowing other light to come through.


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    noun, Electricity. 1. any electric charge that is bound to an atom or molecule (opposed to ).

  • Polarize

    [poh-luh-rahyz] /ˈpoʊ ləˌraɪz/ verb (used with object), polarized, polarizing. 1. to cause in. 2. to divide into sharply opposing factions, political groups, etc.: The controversy has polarized voters into proabortion and antiabortion groups. 3. to give to. verb (used without object), polarized, polarizing. 4. to become polarized. /ˈpəʊləˌraɪz/ verb 1. to acquire or cause to […]

  • Polarized

    [poh-luh-rahyzd] /ˈpoʊ ləˌraɪzd/ adjective 1. of or relating to a medium that exhibits polarization. 2. (of an electric plug or outlet) designed so that the plug and outlet fit together in only one way. [poh-luh-rahyz] /ˈpoʊ ləˌraɪz/ verb (used with object), polarized, polarizing. 1. to cause in. 2. to divide into sharply opposing factions, political […]

  • Polarizer

    [poh-luh-rahy-zer] /ˈpoʊ ləˌraɪ zər/ noun 1. a person or thing that . 2. Optics. a device, often a crystal or prism, that light. /ˈpəʊləˌraɪzə/ noun 1. a person or a device that causes polarization

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