Meaning of UNION in English


I. ˈyünyən noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Late Latin union-, unio oneness, unity, union, from Latin unus one + -ion-, -io -ion — more at one


a. : an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one : a bringing into intimate and usually fixed association: as

(1) : an associating of nonmaterial or abstract items

a union of Latin and Nordic elements

a gracious union of elegance and strength

(2) : a uniting (as of groups, factions, people) into a coherent and usually harmonious whole

bring about the union of the troubled household

arranged a union of the opposing factions in the church

especially : the formation of a single political unit from two or more separate and independent units usually through a surrender to the whole of the principal governmental powers of the parts or by the incorporation of separate entities into an already existing unit

the union of Scotland and England took place on May 1, 1707

(3) : a consolidation of benefices or churches

(4) : a uniting in marriage ; also : sexual intercourse , copulation

(5) : the growing together of severed parts

the union of a fractured bone

(6) : the conscious identification of one's will with that of divinity which constitutes the third and highest stage in mystical striving and in which the soul is held to have experimental knowledge of God — called also unitive way

b. : the state or result of being subjected to union : a unified condition : combination , junction

exhibiting an excellent union of beef and milk qualities

2. obsolete : oneness

3. : something that is made one : something formed by a combining or coalition of parts or members : a consolidated body or group: as

a. : a confederation or league of independent individuals (as nations or persons) for some common end or purpose — see customs union , labor union , postal union

b. : a political unit constituting an organic whole formed usually from previously independent units which have surrendered their principal powers to the government of the whole that may be the government of one of the units (as in the case of England and Scotland in 1707) or a newly created government (as of the United States in 1789)

we, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union — U.S. Constitution

— compare confederation , federation , league

c. : a 19th century British governmental unit primarily for the administration of poor relief formed by uniting two or more parishes under a board of guardians — called also poor-law union ; compare rural district

d. usually capitalized : an organization on a college or university campus providing facilities for recreational, social, and cultural activities and sometimes dining facilities ; also : the building in which such an organization is housed

e. : a union cloth

f. : a chemical combination : bond 3e

g. : a plant society especially when consisting of plants linked by common habit

an herbaceous perennial union within the greasewood-shad-scale association

h. : the point of joining or state of being joined of stock and scion in a plant graft

weak unions may need to be bridged by mutually compatible intermediates


a. : a device emblematic of the union of two or more sovereignties borne on a national flag typically in the upper inner corner or constituting the whole design of the flag

b. : the upper inner corner of a flag : canton

5. : any of various devices for connecting machine or other parts: as

a. : the elastic pipe connecting a tender with the locomotive feed pipe

b. : a coupling for pipes or pipes and fittings designed to facilitate connection or disconnection — compare flange union

II. adjective


a. : of, relating to, dealing with, or constituting a union (as a labor union)

union affairs

a union contract

b. usually capitalized : of, relating to, or being the side favoring the federal union in the United States Civil War

Union troops

a Union cavalry officer


(1) of yarn : spun from a mixture of two or more fibers

(2) of cloth : having warp and weft threads of different fibers

d. of a literary language : artificially created by a selection of vocabulary and usages from related dialects or languages with the intent of serving all equally

2. : formed by union usually of diverse elements

a union ticket in politics

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Latin union-, unio, from unus one — more at one

archaic : a large pearl of exceptional quality and worth


Usage: usually capitalized

— a communications code word for the letter u

V. noun

1. : the set of all elements belonging to one or more of a given collection of two or more sets — called also join sum

2. : the mathematical or logical operation of converting separate sets to a union

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