American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The state or quality of being one; singleness.
- n. The state or quality of being in accord; harmony.
- n. The combination or arrangement of parts into a whole; unification.
- n. A combination or union thus formed.
- n. Singleness or constancy of purpose or action; continuity: "In an army you need unity of purpose” ( Emmeline Pankhurst).
- n. An ordering of all elements in a work of art or literature so that each contributes to a unified aesthetic effect.
- n. The effect thus produced.
- n. One of the three principles of dramatic structure derived by French neoclassicists from Aristotle's Poetics, stating that a drama should have but one plot, which should take place in a single day and be confined to a single locale.
- n. Mathematics The number 1.
- n. Mathematics See identity element.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The state or property of being one; oneness, as opposed to multiplicity; individuality, as opposed to plurality.
- n. Organic totality; that interconnection of parts which constitutes a complex whole; a systematic whole as distinguished from its constituent parts: as, the unity of consciousness; the unity of an artistic creation. See def. 9.
- n. Identity; self-sameness; uniformity.
- n. The state of being united or combined in one; especially, union as connected parts of a complex whole: as, the national unity of the separate states.
- n. Harmony or accord in sentiments, affection, action, etc.; concord.
- n. Sameness of character or effect; agreement; coincidence.
- n. In mathematics, a quantity which, multiplied by any quantity of the system considered, gives that same quantity as the product. Thus, in the theory of matrices, the matrix of any order having all the constituents zero except those of the principal diagonal, which are all ones, is the unity of that order. In ordinary algebra one, or the unit of abstract number, is the only unity. Unit and unity are words frequently confused; but with accurate writers unit is the standard of measurement, that which is counted, and has no reference to multiplication; while unity has reference to multiplication alone. In a multiple associative algebra there are as many units as the ordinal number of the algebra, but there can be but one unity, and there need not be any at all.
- n. The principle by which a uniform tenor of story and propriety of representation is preserved in literary compositions; conformity in a composition to this principle; a reference to some one purpose or leading idea, or to the main proposition, in all the parts of a discourse or composition. The so-called Aristotelian law of unity of time, of place, and of action (called ‘the unities’) in a drama was the fundamental rule or general idea from which the French classical dramatic writers and critics derived, or to which they referred, all their practical rules for the construction of a drama. This law demanded that there should be no shifting of the scene from place to place, that the whole series of events should be such as might occur within the space of a single day, and that nothing should be admitted irrelevant to the development of the single plot.
- n. In artistic creations, a combination of parts such as to constitute a whole or to exhibit a form of symmetry in style and character; the quality of any work by which all the parts are subordinate to or promotive of one general design or effect.
- n. In law: The holding of the same estate in undivided shares by two or more; joint tenancy.
- n. The joint possession by one person of two rights by several titles.
- n. A gold coin of the reign of James I. See unite.
- n. See primitive.
- n. uncountable Oneness; the state or fact of being one undivided entity.
- n. A single undivided thing, seen as complete in itself.
- n. drama Any of the three classical rules of drama (unity of action, unity of place, and unity of time).`
- n. mathematics Any element of a set or field that behaves under a given operation as the number 1 behaves under multiplication.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The state of being one; oneness.
- n. Concord; harmony; conjunction; agreement; uniformity.
- n. (Math.) Any definite quantity, or aggregate of quantities or magnitudes taken as one, or for which 1 is made to stand in calculation; thus, in a table of natural sines, the radius of the circle is regarded as
- n. (Poetry & Rhet.) In dramatic composition, one of the principles by which a uniform tenor of story and propriety of representation are preserved; conformity in a composition to these; in oratory, discourse, etc., the due subordination and reference of every part to the development of the leading idea or the eastablishment of the main proposition.
- n. (Fine Arts & Mus.) Such a combination of parts as to constitute a whole, or a kind of symmetry of style and character.
- n. (Law) The peculiar characteristics of an estate held by several in joint tenancy.
- n. the smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number
- n. the quality of being united into one
- n. an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting
- From Anglo-Norman unité, Old French unité, from Latin ūnitās, from ūnus ("one") + noun of state suffix -itās. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English unite, from Old French, from Latin ūnitās, from ūnus, one. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“This conception, which Geoffroy calls the _Théorie des analogues_ (p. xxxii.), is clearly one part of the old idea of the unity of type; it teaches the _unity of composition_ of organic beings, while the _Principe des connexions_ adds the _unity of plan_.”
“_Quantitative_ Phenomena (totality, multiplicity, relative unity) -- a multiplicity of objects having relative and composite unity, which suggests some relation to an absolute and indivisible _unity_.”
“_In the manifold unity of universal life the innumerable individualities distinguished by their variations are, nevertheless, united in such a manner that the whole is one, and that everything proceeds from unity_.”
“V. ii.141 (129,2) If there be rule in unity itself] I do not well understand what is meant by _rule in unity_.”
“In that case, they would put the word separation in the Ego column and the word unity in the Spirit column.”
“M. O'BRIEN: You know, the term unity government is used a lot.”
“These senses of the term unity are confused by some writers, but must clearly be distinguished before any useful inquiry can be made.”
“We also use the term unity, however, for the total synthesis of the persons, energies, and forms in a group, in which the final wholeness is made up, not merely of those factors which are unifying in the narrower sense, but also of those which are, in the narrower sense, dualistic.”
“Unity of God is a principle though it is apparently a special commandment, because the term unity contains two concepts; first, that God is one and there is not another like him; second, that being one and free from any multiplicity or composition, he is the cause of all the multiplicity in the world.”
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