from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Intrinsic polar separation, alignment, or orientation, especially of a physical property.
  • noun An indicated polar extreme.
  • noun The possession or manifestation of two opposing attributes, tendencies, or principles.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That endowment of plants, plant-organs, and even of spores and cells, by virtue of which they tend to develop axially and with a distinction of base and apex; verticibasality. This polarity inheres even in small pieces of a stem in such wise that they tend to throw out roots from the end originally nearest the base and shoots from that farthest from it. Accordingly the basal end of a piece or whole is termed (first by Vochting) the root-pole, the apical end the shoot-pole, the latter also stem-pole (Pfeffer). Polarity is either (relatively) stable, as in flowering plants, or labile (changeable). Some low organisms are apolar.
  • noun In geometry, a conlocal reciprocation in which any two corresponding elements are doubly correlated.
  • noun The having two opposite poles; variation in certain physical properties, so that in one direction they are the opposite of what they are in the opposite direction: thus, a magnet has polarity.
  • noun The being attracted to one pole and repelled from the other; attraction of opposites: literal or figurative: as, electricity has polarity.
  • noun The having of an axis with reference to which certain physical properties are determined.
  • noun The having, as a ray, variation of properties in reference to different inclinations to a plane through the ray; polarization.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Physics) That quality or condition of a body in virtue of which it exhibits opposite, or contrasted, properties or powers, in opposite, or contrasted, parts or directions; or a condition giving rise to a contrast of properties corresponding to a contrast of positions
  • noun (Geom.) A property of the conic sections by virtue of which a given point determines a corresponding right line and a given right line determines a corresponding point. See Polar, n.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The separation, alignment or orientation of something into two opposed poles.
  • noun Either of the two extremes of such attributes.
  • noun chemistry The dipole-dipole intermolecular forces between the slightly positively-charged end of one molecule to the negative end of another or the same molecule.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a relation between two opposite attributes or tendencies
  • noun having an indicated pole (as the distinction between positive and negative electric charges)


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Since polarity is such a function-critical variable, shifts in polarity could have dramatic effects on fitness (e.g., be lethal!).

    Chunkdz Comes Out Smokin 2008

  • This polarity is reflected in cinema as well, with the substance most commonly depicted as either a hilarious holy grail or a gateway to harder, darker substances.

    Abe Schwartz: A "Bad Batch" of Pot Brownies in Los Angeles Abe Schwartz 2010

  • It has been demonstrated that the five new gases, or "noble gases" as they are often called, form a natural family of elements which by the absence of electric polarity is strictly differentiated from all elements previously known, filling a void in the periodic system hitherto existing between the highly negative halogens and the highly positive alkali metals.

    Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1904 - Presentation Speech 1966

  • Anyway, my polarity is back to manic so I’m ready to have an underpants party with all you guys, or whatever it is that Lunch’ers do.

    PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Chris” | Midtown Lunch - Finding Lunch in the Food Wasteland of NYC's Midtown Manhattan 2010

  • If we accept the word polarity as a name for the force by which inorganic units are aggregated into a form peculiar to them, we may apply this word to the analogous force displayed by organic limits. "

    On the Genesis of Species St. George Mivart

  • This is not simply a matter of reversing the polarity, that is, of subverting the religious significance of Jerusalem in order to privilege Baghdad, for Turkish materialism is revealed to be as hollow as Jewish religiosity.

    Introduction - Critical Apparatus 2005

  • The single most important thing is to select the correct magnet polarity, which is the negative or north polarity.


  • Hence, in place of the idea of polarity he advanced the idea of inter - play.

    Dictionary of the History of Ideas FREDERICK M. BARNARD 1968

  • In a duality however — or in a polarity, which is an intensified duality — the entities that are opposed are expected to be different, and even contrary, by contrast, or otherwise.


  • We now move to the other pole of the primary polarity, that is to the plane, and let the sphere arise by imagining the plane approaching an infinitely distant point evenly from all sides.

    Man or Matter Ernst Lehrs


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