Definition of duality in English:

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Pronunciation: /d(y)o͞oˈalədē/

noun (plural dualities)

1The quality or condition of being dual: the novel’s deep duality about human motive
More example sentences
  • To fit in with this, the play is full of twins as a metaphor for human duality: we can be this or that, depending on our choices.
  • But our poem's horizon expanded far beyond this confined duality to embrace the universal, the human, as well as the intimate and personal.
  • All these nine characteristics have both weaknesses and strengths; out of duality of being, these unique natures can provide certain creative energies, motives, and world views.
1.1 Mathematics The property of two theorems, expressions, etc., being dual to each other.
Example sentences
  • These two dualities reduce the number of distinct theories from five to three.
1.2 Physics The quantum-mechanical property of being regardable as both a wave and a particle.
Example sentences
  • I think a scientific parallel might be drawn from the uncertainty principle in quantum physics, or perhaps from photon wave/particle duality.
  • This was the beginning of the idea known as particle-wave duality, and the field of quantum mechanics.
  • Although not fully appreciated at the time, Einstein's work on the quantum nature of light was the first step towards establishing the wave-particle duality of quantum particles.
2An instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism: the photographs capitalize on the dualities of light and dark, stillness and movement
More example sentences
  • The entire movie is a collection of dualities, of opposites contrasting.
  • This is a film full of contradictions and dualities.
  • Neither entirely human nor artificial, but a combination of the two, the cyborg problematizes all dualities and oppositions.


Late Middle English: from late Latin dualitas, from dualis (see dual).

Words that rhyme with duality

banality, fatality, finality, ideality, legality, locality, modality, morality, natality, orality, reality, regality, rurality, tonality, totality, venality, vitality, vocality

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: du·al·i·ty

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