View synonyms for polarize


[ poh-luh-rahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, po·lar·ized, po·lar·iz·ing.
  1. to cause polarization in.
  2. to divide into sharply opposing factions, political groups, etc.:

    The controversy has polarized voters into proabortion and antiabortion groups.

  3. to give polarity to.

verb (used without object)

, po·lar·ized, po·lar·iz·ing.
  1. to become polarized.


/ ˈpəʊləˌraɪz /


  1. to acquire or cause to acquire polarity
  2. to acquire or cause to acquire polarization

    to polarize light

  3. to cause people to adopt extreme opposing positions

    to polarize opinion


/ lə-rīz′ /

  1. 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.
  2. To magnetize a substance so that it has the properties of a magnetic dipole, such as having a north and south pole.
  3. 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.
  4. See more at polarization

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Derived Forms

  • ˈpolarˌizable, adjective

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Other Words From

  • po·lar·iz·a·ble [poh-l, uh, -, rahy, -z, uh, -b, uh, l], adjective
  • po·lar·iz·a·bil·i·ty [poh-l, uh, -rahy-z, uh, -, bil, -i-tee], noun
  • de·po·lar·ize verb (used with object) depolarized depolarizing
  • non·po·lar·iz·a·ble adjective
  • re·po·lar·ize verb (used with object) repolarized repolarizing

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Word History and Origins

Origin of polarize1

First recorded in 1805–15; polar + -ize

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Example Sentences

Ideas emerge, they become polarizing by virtue of being jammed into a zero-sum political system, and then they typically fail.

From Vox

They feared their brands sitting alongside polarizing content.

From Digiday

Although in a sign of just how conservative and polarized the court has already become, she is not that far ahead of the other liberal justices still on the court.

Faith in the Electoral College is already shaky because of the possibility of a popular vote-electoral vote split like in 2000 and 2016, and worse yet, support for the Electoral College is increasingly polarized by party.

“The bigger the brand and the more people they appeal to, the more likely it is going to be polarizing to their audience,” said one agency exec of why some brands would rather not address the coronavirus directly in ads any longer.

From Digiday

The world will re-polarize while money flows into Swiss bank accounts.

Not the bridge-burning efforts of Butler and her BDS comrades who polarize an already divided Middle East.

They say rape-y things Rick Ross is hardly the first rapper to polarize with lyrics about rape.

If the president -- any president -- inserts himself into the gun debate, he will inevitably polarize it.

Second, I think it might polarize the country even more than it is now.

A dry cell, Leclanché, or other open-circuit cell would not be at all suitable for a telegraph line, as it would soon polarize.

They are also costly, since they do not last long and cannot be worked too hard unless they polarize.

They impose themselves on men apart from reason and have the power to polarize men's thoughts and feelings in one direction.

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

These must have plenty of time to rest, as they polarize when the circuit is closed for a long time.


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polarization chargepolarized