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

  • adjective Of or relating to a unit.
  • adjective Having the nature of a unit; whole.
  • adjective Based on or characterized by one or more units.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or relating to a unit; of the nature of a unit; not divided; entire: specifically noting in chemistry that system in which the molecules of all bodies are compared, as to their magnitude, with one molecule—water, for example—and all chemical reactions are as far as possible reduced to one typical form of reaction, namely double decomposition. Of or pertaining to, or characterized by, unity or uniformity; also, directed at or striving for unity: as, a unitary system of thought; in politics, centralized.
  • In biology, monistic, as distinguished from dualistic.
  • Pertaining to or of the nature of a unit (of measurement).
  • In mathematics, involving a root to unit power.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to a unit or units; relating to unity.
  • adjective Of the nature of a unit; not divided; united.
  • adjective (Chem.) the modern theory that the molecules of all complete compounds are units, whose parts are bound together in definite structure, with mutual and reciprocal influence on each other, and are not mere aggregations of more or less complex groups; -- distinguished from the dualistic theory.

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

  • adjective Having the quality of oneness.
  • adjective government Relating to a system of government in which sovereign power is concentrated in a single body instead of being shared or possessed by more local bodies.
  • adjective mathematics Pertaining to a unit.
  • noun UK A unitary council
  • noun mathematics A unitary operator

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

  • adjective relating to or characterized by or aiming toward unity
  • adjective characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is held by one central authority
  • adjective having the indivisible character of a unit
  • adjective of or pertaining to or involving the use of units


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • George Bush used the same demagoguery, the same false claims and accusations to scare the people of the United States into giving him dictatorial powers, what he calls the unitary presidency.

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  • But you have a different view with regards to the role of the executive now, an enhanced role, what they called the unitary presidency.

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  • They make clear, for instance, that the phrase "unitary executive" is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power.

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  • They make clear, for instance, that the phrase "unitary executive" is a code word for a doctrine that favors nearly unlimited executive power.


  • In fact, I'd be willing to bet that if you polled the American public today and asked them if they even knew what the phrase unitary executive means, fewer than 2% of the country would have a clue what you're talking about.


  • While it has meant that economic problems can rarely be answered by optimum solutions, which may at least occasionally be approximated in unitary states, the varied interests of the very different regions of this vast land have usually, in the long run, been accommodated in the working out of the compromises by which our country survives problems even if it does not wholly resolve them.

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  • And, so the process of the renormalization could be made, you could calculate everything in terms of the experimental mass and then take the limit and the apparent difficulty that the unitary is violated temporarily seems to disappear.

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  • The Unitary Executive makes a case for 'unitary' - but not for 'executive.'

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  • Now the capitalists not only favor 'fraternity' but also 'unity', as the Club of Rome suggest a while ago, that is, a unitary World State.

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  • As the leader of Bush'slegal team and Cheney's chief of staff, Addington was thebiggest proponentof some of Bush's mostnotoriouslegal abuses, such astortureand warrantless surveillance, and is aloyal followerof the so-called unitary executive theory.

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