polarize

[ poh-luh-rahyz ]
/ ˈpoʊ ləˌraɪz /

verb (used with object), po·lar·ized, po·lar·iz·ing.

to cause polarization in.
to divide into sharply opposing factions, political groups, etc.: The controversy has polarized voters into proabortion and antiabortion groups.
to give polarity to.

verb (used without object), po·lar·ized, po·lar·iz·ing.

to become polarized.
Also especially British, po·lar·ise.

Origin of polarize

First recorded in 1805–15; polar + -ize

OTHER WORDS FROM polarize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polarise

  • It may be said to polarise the idea, so often presented in his poetry, that doubt is a condition of the vitality of faith.

British Dictionary definitions for polarise

polarize

polarise

/ (ˈpəʊləˌraɪz) /

verb

to acquire or cause to acquire polarity
to acquire or cause to acquire polarizationto polarize light
to cause people to adopt extreme opposing positionsto polarize opinion

Derived forms of polarize

polarizable or polarisable, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for polarise

polarize
[ pōlə-rīz′ ]

To separate or accumulate positive and negative electric charges in two distinct regions. Polarized objects have an electric dipole moment and will undergo torque when placed in an external electric field.
To magnetize a substance so that it has the properties of a magnetic dipole, such as having a north and south pole.
To cause the electrical and magnetic fields associated with electromagnetic waves, especially light, to vibrate in a particular direction or path. The transverse electric and magnetic waves always vibrate at right angles to each other, but in ordinary unpolarized light sources, the direction of polarization of each wave is randomly distributed. Light can be polarized by reflection, and by passing through certain materials. See more at polarization.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.