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[poh-lar-i-tee, puh-] /poʊˈlær ɪ ti, pə-/
  1. the property or characteristic that produces unequal physical effects at different points in a body or system, as a magnet or storage battery.
  2. the positive or negative state in which a body reacts to a magnetic, electric, or other field.
the presence or manifestation of two opposite or contrasting principles or tendencies.
  1. (of words, phrases, or sentences) positive or negative character.
  2. polar opposition.
Origin of polarity
1640-50; polar + -ity
Related forms
nonpolarity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for polarity
  • Fortunately, it's easy to rewire an outlet with reversed polarity.
  • Every election establishes a polarity that's wider than the reality.
  • Variations in the magnetic polarity even revealed joins where one pipe met another.
  • But oils and many other organic compounds have weak or no polarity and cause such gels to collapse.
  • The scientists believe the continued influx is due to the way in which the polarity changed.
  • It was the phasing of the polarity on two tape machines.
  • Our nation's polarity would be aided by a little less self-aggrandizement.
  • Such distinctions feed polarity and depreciate the integrity of the court.
  • Mahan separated these functions and reversed their polarity.
  • Murphy also captures the polarity of good and evil in such times.
British Dictionary definitions for polarity


noun (pl) -ties
the condition of having poles
the condition of a body or system in which it has opposing physical properties at different points, esp magnetic poles or electric charge
the particular state of a part of a body or system that has polarity: an electrode with positive polarity
the state of having or expressing two directly opposite tendencies, opinions, etc
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
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Word Origin and History for polarity

1640s, originally of magnets, from polar + -ity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polarity in Medicine

polarity po·lar·i·ty (pō-lār'ĭ-tē, pə-)

  1. The property of having two opposite poles, such as those possessed by a magnet, or of having opposite properties or characteristics.

  2. The direction or orientation of positivity relative to negativity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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polarity in Science
The condition of having poles or being aligned with or directed toward poles, especially magnetic or electric poles.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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