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

  • noun The state or quality of being one or united into a whole.
  • noun The state or quality of being in accord; harmony.
  • noun The state or quality of being unified in an aesthetic whole, as in a work of literature.
  • noun A whole that is a combination of parts.
  • noun Singleness or constancy of purpose or action; continuity.
  • noun 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.
  • noun The number 1.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or property of being one; oneness, as opposed to multiplicity; individuality, as opposed to plurality.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Identity; self-sameness; uniformity.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Harmony or accord in sentiments, affection, action, etc.; concord.
  • noun Sameness of character or effect; agreement; coincidence.
  • noun In mathematics, a quantity which, multiplied by any quantity of the system considered, gives that same quantity as the product.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In law: The holding of the same estate in undivided shares by two or more; joint tenancy.
  • noun The joint possession by one person of two rights by several titles.
  • noun A gold coin of the reign of James I. See unite.
  • noun See primitive.

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

  • noun The state of being one; oneness.
  • noun Concord; harmony; conjunction; agreement; uniformity
  • noun (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 unity.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (Fine Arts & Mus.) Such a combination of parts as to constitute a whole, or a kind of symmetry of style and character.
  • noun (Law) The peculiar characteristics of an estate held by several in joint tenancy.
  • noun at one.
  • noun (Biol.) See under Type.

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

  • noun uncountable Oneness; the state or fact of being one undivided entity.
  • noun A single undivided thing, seen as complete in itself.
  • noun drama Any of the three classical rules of drama (unity of action, unity of place, and unity of time).`
  • noun mathematics Any element of a set or field that behaves under a given operation as the number 1 behaves under multiplication.

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

  • noun the smallest whole number or a numeral representing this number
  • noun the quality of being united into one
  • noun an undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting


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

[Middle English unite, from Old French, from Latin ūnitās, from ūnus, one; see oi-no- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Anglo-Norman unité, Old French unité, from Latin ūnitās, from ūnus ("one") + noun of state suffix -itās.


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  • 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_.

    Form and Function A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology

  • _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_.

    Christianity and Greek Philosophy or, the relation between spontaneous and reflective thought in Greece and the positive teaching of Christ and His Apostles 1852

  • Barroso says the 27-nation bloc has demonstrated «European unity, and in a certain sense, global unity» as it scrambles to respond to the meltdown.

    unknown title 2009

  • "_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_.

    Four-Dimensional Vistas Claude Fayette Bragdon 1906

  • V. ii.141 (129,2) If there be rule in unity itself] I do not well understand what is meant by _rule in unity_.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies Samuel Johnson 1746

  • In that case, they would put the word separation in the Ego column and the word unity in the Spirit column.

    Nurturing Spirituality in Children Ph.D. Peggy Joy Jenkins 2008

  • M. O'BRIEN: You know, the term unity government is used a lot.

    CNN Transcript Jun 8, 2006 2006

  • These senses of the term unity are confused by some writers, but must clearly be distinguished before any useful inquiry can be made.

    The Unity of Civilization Various

  • 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.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology Robert Ezra Park 1926

  • 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.

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy Isaac Husik 1907


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  • in essentials unity; in nonessentials liberty; in all things, charity - Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli

    April 5, 2011