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unilateral

[yoo-nuh-lat-er-uh l] /ˌyu nəˈlæt ər əl/
adjective
1.
relating to, occurring on, or involving one side only:
unilateral development; a unilateral approach.
2.
undertaken or done by or on behalf of one side, party, or faction only; not mutual:
a unilateral decision; unilateral disarmament.
3.
having only one side or surface; without a reverse side or inside, as a Möbius strip.
4.
Law.
  1. pertaining to a contract that can be formed only when the party to whom an offer is made renders the performance for which the offeror bargains.
  2. pertaining to a contract in which obligation rests on only one party, as a binding promise to make a gift.
5.
Botany. having all the parts disposed on one side of an axis, as an inflorescence.
6.
through forebears of one sex only, as through either the mother's or father's line.
Compare bilateral (def 5).
7.
Phonetics. (of an l -sound) characterized by passage of air on only one side of the tongue.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; < Neo-Latin ūnilaterālis. See uni-, lateral
Related forms
unilaterality, noun
unilaterally, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for uni-lateral

unilateral

/ˌjuːnɪˈlætərəl/
adjective
1.
of, having, affecting, or occurring on only one side
2.
involving or performed by only one party of several unilateral disarmament
3.
(law) (of contracts, obligations, etc) made by, affecting, or binding one party only and not involving the other party in reciprocal obligations
4.
(botany) having or designating parts situated or turned to one side of an axis
5.
(sociol) relating to or tracing the line of descent through ancestors of one sex only Compare bilateral (sense 5)
6.
(phonetics) denoting an (l) sound produced on one side of the tongue only
Derived Forms
unilateralism, unilaterality, noun
unilaterally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for uni-lateral
unilateral
1802, from Mod.L. unilateralis, from unum, neut. of unus "one" (see one) + latus (gen. lateralis) "side" (see oblate (n.)). Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) may have been the first to use it in the legal sense of "made or entered into by one party." Unilateral disarmament is recorded from 1929. Unilateralism is recorded from 1926, and seems to have been used in the sense of "advocate of unilateral disarmament." Meaning "pursuit of a foreign policy without allies" is attested from 1964.
"It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion." [William Ralph Inge, "Outspoken Essays," 1919]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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uni-lateral in Medicine

unilateral u·ni·lat·er·al (yōō'nə-lāt'ər-əl)
adj.
On, having, or confined to only one side.


u'ni·lat'er·al·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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