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polarize

To polarize is to divide. Something that's been polarized has been split into two sides that are so different, it seems as though they're from opposite ends of the earth — like the North Pole and the South Pole.

Political parties have long been polarized by different views and approaches to government. But you'll also find polarized soda devotees arguing over the merits of Coke vs. Pepsi. Any topic that is controversial can polarize a population, especially if the topic inspires either a fiercely "pro" or fiercely "con" reaction. Topics such as gun control and health care reform have been known to polarize Congress.

Definitions of polarize
  1. verb
    cause to concentrate about two conflicting or contrasting positions
    synonyms: polarise
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    type of:
    disunite, divide, part, separate
    force, take, or pull apart
  2. verb
    become polarized in a conflict or contrasting situation
    synonyms: polarise
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    type of:
    divide, part, separate
    come apart
  3. verb
    cause to vibrate in a definite pattern
    polarize light waves”
    synonyms: polarise
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    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
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