See more synonyms for unitary on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to a unit or units.
  2. of, pertaining to, characterized by, or aiming toward unity: the unitary principles of nationalism.
  3. of the nature of a unit; having the indivisible character of a unit; whole.
  4. serving as a unit, as of measurement or estimation.
  5. of or relating to the use of units: A unitary method was applied.
  6. Government. of or relating to a system of government in which the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of each state in a body of states are vested in a central authority.

Origin of unitary

First recorded in 1810–20; unit, unit(y) + -ary
Related formsu·ni·tar·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for unitary


  1. of a unit or units
  2. based on or characterized by unity
  3. individual; whole
  4. of or relating to a system of government in which all governing authority is held by the central governmentCompare federal
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 unitary

1816; see unit + -ary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper