Definition of unity in English:


Syllabification: u·ni·ty
Pronunciation: /ˈyo͞onətē

noun (plural unities)

  • 1The state of being united or joined as a whole: European unity their leaders called for unity between opposing factions
    More example sentences
    • Today, though, the economic unity of the extended family has broken down.
    • Germany's economic unity was to be preserved, though this was undermined by the decision that each power could take reparations from its own occupied territories.
    • It is highly unlikely that they would allow any internal or external factor to trifle with their unity or a united platform to promote and preserve their interests.
    union, unification, integration, amalgamation; coalition, federation, confederation
  • 1.1The state of forming a complete and pleasing whole, especially in an artistic context: the repeated phrase gives the piece unity and cohesion
    More example sentences
    • There Schlegel turned his attention not just to the production of harmonious unity in individual works of art but also to their reception by the spectator.
    • With a poetic twist on artistic unity, this film evokes the thought that we are subject to a very similar imprisonment, even in the comfort of our own culture.
    • I nearly fell back as it all suddenly came together for me, the pins and pieces of a great puzzle falling into harmonious unity.
  • 1.2A thing forming a complex whole: they speak of the three parts as a unity
    More example sentences
    • So does the Bible teach that the human person is a psychosomatic unity which perishes completely with death?
    • Yet we don't count up two diamonds from the deuce and two from the trey, but treat each card as a complete unity.
    • Naturalism could, however, conflict with the demands of the setting, as in the stained glass at Fairford church, where the stone mullions cut across compositions designed as a unity.
  • 1.3In Aristotle’s Poetics, each of the three dramatic principles requiring limitation of the supposed time of a drama to that occupied in acting it or to a single day ( unity of time), use of one scene throughout ( unity of place), and concentration on the development of a single plot ( unity of action).
    More example sentences
    • Nevertheless, the plays are far removed from the classical pattern: they rarely present a unity of action, time and place.
    • The plot, observing the classical unity of time by taking place in a 24-hour period, is the barest of sketches, a pretext for the feelings of sadness, world-weariness, and desperate hope.
    • Sophocles' play was for Aristotle an exemplary tragedy, both formally, in terms of unity of action, and in its tragic story.
  • 2 Mathematics chiefly British The number one.
    More example sentences
    • All these proofs use complex numbers and roots of unity, as does the author's.
    • Selecting different values of the base value a, there turns out to be only one value of a such that the gradient of the graph is unity at x = 0.
    • In fact, he even may have gained speed on rivals, thanks to specific properties of the two cube roots of unity that are complex numbers.


Middle English: from Old French unite, from Latin unitas, from unus 'one'.

More definitions of unity

Definition of unity in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw