- relating to, occurring on, or involving one side only: unilateral development; a unilateral approach.
- undertaken or done by or on behalf of one side, party, or faction only; not mutual: a unilateral decision; unilateral disarmament.
- having only one side or surface; without a reverse side or inside, as a Möbius strip.
- pertaining to a contract that can be formed only when the party to whom an offer is made renders the performance for which the offeror bargains.
- pertaining to a contract in which obligation rests on only one party, as a binding promise to make a gift.
- Botany. having all the parts disposed on one side of an axis, as an inflorescence.
- through forebears of one sex only, as through either the mother's or father's line.Compare bilateral(def 5).
- Phonetics. (of an l-sound) characterized by passage of air on only one side of the tongue.
Origin of unilateral
Examples from the Web for unilateral
Under these circumstances, the kind of unilateral executive action Obama is undertaking will become more and more common.Why Did Obama Flip-Flop on Immigration?
November 21, 2014
To be clear, unilateral Democratic control is just as problematic as the reverse.GOP States’ Hitlist: Abortion, Unions & Hillary
November 18, 2014
He spoke to Putin on June 17 and came away offering a “unilateral cease-fire.”Putin Is Just Getting Started in Ukraine
June 19, 2014
But my unilateral declaration of an end to the kulturkampf was depressingly naive.Warning: This Column Will Offend You
April 28, 2014
Unilateral implementation of certain aspects of the Dream Act never passed by Congress?The ‘Defining Issue of Our Time’ Is Obama’s Constitutional Excesses
January 9, 2014
The deformity is about as frequently bilateral as unilateral.
The response to unilateral stimulation of the tip of the seedling.Life Movements in Plants, Volume II, 1919
Sir Jagadis Chunder Bose
It can be part of a unilateral transfer or of a bilateral exchange of population.After the Rain
Like many other lingual affections, this is often unilateral.
Several of its provisions are maintained by unilateral Austrian laws.
- of, having, affecting, or occurring on only one side
- involving or performed by only one party of severalunilateral disarmament
- law (of contracts, obligations, etc) made by, affecting, or binding one party only and not involving the other party in reciprocal obligations
- botany having or designating parts situated or turned to one side of an axis
- sociol relating to or tracing the line of descent through ancestors of one sex onlyCompare bilateral (def. 5)
- phonetics denoting an (l) sound produced on one side of the tongue only
Word Origin and History for unilateral
1802, from Modern Latin unilateralis, from unum, neuter of unus "one" (see one) + latus (genitive lateralis) "side" (see oblate (n.)). Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) may have been the first to use it in the legal sense of "made or entered into by one party." Unilateral disarmament is recorded from 1929.
It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion. [William Ralph Inge, "Outspoken Essays," 1919]
- On, having, or confined to only one side.