a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions.
Optics. a state, or the production of a state, in which rays of light or similar radiation exhibit different properties in different directions. Compare circular polarization, elliptical polarization, plane polarization.
the deposit of gases, produced during electrolysis, on the electrodes of a cell, increasing the resistance of the cell.
a vector quantity indicating the electric dipole moment per unit of volume of a dielectric.
the induction of polarity in a ferromagnetic substance.
the production or acquisition of polarity.

1805–15; polarize + -ation

depolarization, noun
repolarization, noun
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World English Dictionary
depolarize or depolarise (diːˈpəʊləˌraɪz)
to undergo or cause to undergo a loss of polarity or polarization
depolarise or depolarise
depolari'zation or depolarise
depolari'sation or depolarise
de'polarizer or depolarise
de'polariser or depolarise

polarization or polarisation (ˌpəʊləraɪˈzeɪʃən)
1.  the condition of having or giving polarity
2.  physics the process or phenomenon in which the waves of light or other electromagnetic radiation are restricted to certain directions of vibration, usually specified in terms of the electric field vector
polarisation or polarisation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1815, from de- + polarization (see polarize).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

depolarization de·po·lar·i·za·tion (dē-pō'lər-ĭ-zā'shən)
Elimination or neutralization of polarity, as in nerve cells.

polarization po·lar·i·za·tion (pō'lər-ĭ-zā'shən)

  1. The production or condition of polarity.

  2. A process or state in which rays of light exhibit different properties in different directions, especially the state in which all the vibration takes place in one plane.

  3. The partial or complete polar separation of positive and negative electric charge in a nuclear, atomic, molecular, or chemical system.

  4. The coating of an electrode with a thick layer of hydrogen bubbles, with the result that the flow of current is weakened or arrested.

  5. The development of differences in potential between two points in living tissues, as between the inside and outside of the cell wall.

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Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
polarization   (pō'lər-ĭ-zā'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A condition in which transverse waves vibrate consistently in a single plane, or along a circle or ellipse. Electromagnetic radiation such as light is composed of transverse waves and can be polarized. Certain kinds of light filters, including sunglasses that reduce glare, work by filtering out light that is polarized in one direction.

  2. The displacement of positive and negative electric charge to opposite ends of a nuclear, atomic, molecular, or chemical system, especially by subjection to an electric field. Atoms and molecules have some inherent polarization.

  3. An increased resistance to the flow of current in a voltaic cell, caused by chemical reactions at the electrodes. Polarization results in a reduction of the electric potential across the voltaic cell.

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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

polarization definition

In politics, the grouping of opinions around two extremes: “As the debate continued, the union members were polarized into warring factions.”

polarization definition

The direction in which the electrical field of an electromagnetic wave points.

Note: Reflected light, such as the light that produces glare on a sunny day, is polarized so that the electrical field is parallel to the ground. Some sunglasses are designed to take advantage of this property by blocking out that particular polarization while allowing other light to come through.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
In human tissue induced currents have shown to cause nerve and muscle depolarization.
Example studies have shown induced currents to cause nerve and muscle depolarization.
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