Meaning of POLARIZATION in English


ˌpōlərə̇ˈzāshən, -ˌrīˈ- noun

( -s )

Etymology: French polarisation, from polariser to polarize + -ation

1. : the action of polarizing or the state of being polarized: as


(1) : the action or process of affecting light or other transverse wave radiation so that the vibrations of the wave are confined to a single plane — called also linear polarization, plane polarization

(2) : the action or process of affecting light or other transverse wave radiation so that the vibrations may be regarded as confined to two mutually perpendicular planes with the components having a particular relationship between their phases and amplitudes — called also circular polarization, elliptical polarization

(3) : the state of radiation affected by either of these processes

b. : the deposition of gas on one or both electrodes of an electrolytic cell increasing the resistance and setting up a counter electromotive force

so-called dry cells are notably subject to polarization

— called also electrolytic polarization

c. : an effect resulting from the slight shifting of the electrons in a dielectric when placed in an electric field ; specifically : the electric moment thus produced per unit volume of dielectric — called also dielectric polarization

d. : an effect occurring in atoms and molecules wherein a slight relative shift of electrons and nuclei is produced in an electric field

e. : magnetization — called also magnetic polarization


a. : division (as of groups, ideologies, systems, or forces) into two opposites

polarization … made between writing journalistically and writing creatively — J.T.Farrell

b. : the concentration about opposing extremes of usually conflicting groups or interests formerly ranged on a continuum

polarization of all sorts of antagonisms — Isaac Deutscher

as a result of this polarization between right and left, the middle-of-the-road parties … have lost strength — Louis Wasserman

c. : the division (as of a society or force) into two elements concentrated about opposing extremes

a polarization of society into two classes — Reinhard Bendix

the polarization of power between two implacable enemies — M.B.Travis

the polarization of European politics between two political extremes — Barbara Ward

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.