Also homopolar. Physics. having or pertaining to a single magnetic or electric pole.
Anatomy. of or relating to a nerve cell in spinal and cranial ganglia in which the incoming and outgoing processes fuse outside the cell body.

Origin of unipolar

First recorded in 1805–15; uni- + polar
Related formsu·ni·po·lar·i·ty [yoo-nuh-poh-lar-i-tee, -puh-] /ˌyu nə poʊˈlær ɪ ti, -pə-/, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unipolar

Contemporary Examples of unipolar

  • But the idea that the United States must maintain its hegemonic status in a unipolar world—on the right, that has staying power.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Dick Cheney’s Awfulness Is Here to Stay

    Michael Tomasky

    July 15, 2014

  • The “unipolar moment” that might have described America when the Berlin Wall fell down is long over.

    The Daily Beast logo
    We're Handling China All Wrong

    Jeffrey E. Garten

    February 17, 2010

Historical Examples of unipolar

British Dictionary definitions for unipolar



of, concerned with, or having a single magnetic or electric pole
(of a nerve cell) having a single process
(of a transistor) utilizing charge carriers of one polarity only, as in a field-effect transistor
(of nervous depression) occurring without accompanying bouts of mania
dominated by one superpower, esp the United StatesSee bipolar
Derived Formsunipolarity (ˌjuːnɪpəʊˈlærɪtɪ), noun
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

Word Origin and History for unipolar

1812, from uni- + polar.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unipolar in Medicine




Having a single fibrous process. Used of a neuron.
Situated at only one extremity of a cell.
Related formsu′ni•po•lari•ty (-pō-lărĭ-tē, -pə-) n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.