Pronunciation: (pō"lur-u-zā'shun), [key]
1. a sharp division, as of a population or group, into opposing factions.
2. Optics.a state, or the production of a state, in which rays of light or similar radiation exhibit different properties in different directions. Cf. circular polarization, elliptical polarization, plane polarization.
a. the deposit of gases, produced during electrolysis, on the electrodes of a cell, increasing the resistance of the cell.
b. a vector quantity indicating the electric dipole moment per unit of volume of a dielectric.
c. the induction of polarity in a ferromagnetic substance.
4. the production or acquisition of polarity.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.