Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The production or condition of polarity, as:
  • n. A process or state in which rays of light exhibit different properties in different directions, especially the state in which all the vibration takes place in one plane.
  • n. The partial or complete polar separation of positive and negative electric charge in a nuclear, atomic, molecular, or chemical system.
  • n. A concentration, as of groups, forces, or interests, about two conflicting or contrasting positions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the production, or the condition of polarity
  • n. the production of polarized light; the direction in which the electric field of an electromagnetic wave points
  • n. the separation of positive and negative charges in a nucleus, atom, molecule or system
  • n. the grouping of opinions into two extremes

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of polarizing; the state of being polarized, or of having polarity.
  • n. A peculiar affection or condition of the rays of light or heat, in consequence of which they exhibit different properties in different directions.
  • n. An effect produced upon the plates of a voltaic battery, or the electrodes in an electrolytic cell, by the deposition upon them of the gases liberated by the action of the current. It is chiefly due to the hydrogen, and results in an increase of the resistance, and the setting up of an opposing electro-motive force, both of which tend materially to weaken the current of the battery, or that passing through the cell.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state, or the act producing the state, of having, as a ray, different properties on its different sides, so that opposite sides are alike, but the maximum difference is between two sides at right angles to each other. This is the case with polarized light.
  • n. Less properly, the acquisition of polarity, in any sense. Also spelled polarisation.
  • n. The condition thus produced. Thus, in the electrolysis of water polarization of the electrodes takes place, the one becoming coated with a film of oxygen, the other with a film of hydrogen gas. The phrase is most frequently used to describe the process by which the negative plate in a voltaic cell becomes coated with hydrogen, with the result of giving rise to a reverse electromotive force, and thus of weakening the current. On the methods of preventing this, see cell, 8.
  • n. In geometry, the passing to or taking the polar: of two polar figures or formulas either results from the other by polarization.
  • n. In biology, the replacement or regeneration of lost parts in the axial or stere-ometrical relations which they exhibited before they were lost. See polarity, 1 .
  • n. In electricity, the property of acting differently according as the current, electric or magnetic, is in one direction or the opposite direction.

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

  • n. the condition of having or giving polarity
  • n. the phenomenon in which waves of light or other radiation are restricted in direction of vibration

Etymologies

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