Meaning of POLARIZE in English


ˈpōləˌrīz verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: French polariser, from New Latin polaris polar + French -iser -ize

transitive verb

1. : to cause (as light waves) to vibrate in a definite pattern : affect by polarization

2. : to give polarity to : bring into a state of physical polarization

3. : to direct or orient toward a specific polar point (as an object or principle)

the whole society was polarized toward financial success — W.P.Webb

when a young person … has his interest polarized and his life altered — John Mason Brown

4. : to produce or bring about a polarization of : subject to or cause to exhibit polarization

the campaign … tends to polarize people — R.M.Goldman

a conflict … which polarizes political life — L.S.Feuer

this tactic … polarized the political elements into Right and Left camps — Current History

5. : to serve as a focal point for the concentration of

a bell tower which … polarizes a deep local pride — K.R.Greenfield

groups … have polarized what is most reactionary in our economic and social system — New Republic

intransitive verb


a. : to gather or become concentrated about opposing extremes

political forces had polarized into right and left extremes — Andrew Roth

b. : to serve as a focal point about which such concentration may take place

2. : to adhere to or become directed toward a specific polar object or principle

some individuals polarize negatively by turning into cynical sensualists — P.A.Sorokin

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