Definition of duality in English:

duality

noun

  • 1mass noun The quality or condition of being dual.

    ‘this duality of purpose was discernible in the appointments’
    • ‘It's a time of duality when decisions have to be taken.’
    • ‘Presumably it's meant to further illustrate the themes of duality and inner struggle, but the only effect is that of an irritating side-show.’
    • ‘There's way too much duality built-in to such a scheme.’
    • ‘After the brief bit of prophecy, Watts homes in on the theme of duality that crops up in most of his books and speeches, a result of his understanding of Eastern religions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is impossible not to get lost in Watt's paradoxically neat tangle of ideas - whether it's her dialogue with Ingres or the almost alarming duality of photorealistic illusion and sheer physicality.’
    • ‘The implication of moving from limbo to salvation again emphasises the show's duality and the importance to so many of the idea that a country's borders might provide sanctuary.’
    • ‘In this realm of duality, issues of culture, gender and history certainly cannot be wished away.’
    • ‘One is based on duality, on the perception of an inevitable separation between man and God or, not to be too theological, between man and reality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Just how Gilliam's duality came about is unclear, but he apparently mastered it early in life.’
    • ‘It is time we got out of a mindset that encourages duality of standards.’
    • ‘All this is evident in the city's duality, characterised as ‘two cities in one’.’
    • ‘And this presents on screen the kind of duality of which Brecht was so fond on the stage.’
    • ‘There is a precedent for this duality in leadership.’
    • ‘There is an overriding theme to this mural, and that is one of duality.’
    • ‘But our poem's horizon expanded far beyond this confined duality to embrace the universal, the human, as well as the intimate and personal.’
    • ‘Hedwig is a figure of duality, spanning two sexes.’
    • ‘Sir, you are working on the premise of duality.’
    • ‘He sparkled at us and talked of duality in our lives; children versus stardom, the scriptures versus the internet.’
    1. 1.1Mathematics The property of two theorems, expressions, etc., of being dual to each other.
      • ‘These two dualities reduce the number of distinct theories from five to three.’
    2. 1.2Physics The quantum-mechanical property of being regardable as both a wave and a particle.
      • ‘The doctoral thesis of Louis de Broglie was presented which extended the particle-wave duality for light to all particles, in particular to electrons.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He borrows this idea from quantum mechanics and the work of the physicist Niels Bohr on wave-particle duality.’
      • ‘I think a scientific parallel might be drawn from the uncertainty principle in quantum physics, or perhaps from photon wave/particle duality.’
  • 2An instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.

    ‘his photographs capitalize on the dualities of light and dark, stillness and movement’
    • ‘Muller believes each bronze sculpture reflects the dualities people find in themselves.’
    • ‘The nature of Hamsun's truth hinges upon these fascinating dualities.’
    • ‘I hope Commonweal and Garvey will continue to provide nuanced comment and insight into these questions in a way that transcends the dualities too often brought to such issues.’
    • ‘A positive answer to the above question involves a reliance upon some kind of mind/body duality that can be easily challenged philosophically.’
    • ‘These sculptures managed to encapsulate a whole range of dualities: culture/nature, male/female, soft/hard, animate/inanimate.’
    • ‘As a result, the dualities of realistic and imaginary, iconic and perspectival, sacred and secular, and copy and prototype begin to break down.’
    • ‘The entire movie is a collection of dualities, of opposites contrasting.’
    • ‘In the context of portraying dualities, the crow's mythological history is that it was once white and was changed to black by angry gods.’
    • ‘Tentatively, the young Dylan began to explore more complex dualities and - I will argue - dramatize more compelling quarrels with himself.’
    • ‘Carnival is symbolic of the national ethos because it plays to many of the dualities in Brazilian life: wealth and poverty, African and European, female and male.’
    • ‘I think it's the pervasive presence of these dualities that makes a Bournonville ballet so much more interesting, and even modern, than classics like Swan Lake or Sleeping Beauty.’
    • ‘As with so many Chinese concepts, the ‘internal’ vs. ‘external’ distinction actually represents several dualities at once.’
    • ‘This is a film full of contradictions and dualities.’
    • ‘A strong leader must discriminate between right and wrong and all other dualities, and then form his judgment before taking action.’
    • ‘Such a response might help to get us past that frozen, defensive moment of offence which casts everything in black and white, into moral dualities of good and evil, progressive and reactionary.’
    • ‘Undeniably at home in that genre, Snyder's strikingly eccentric work ultimately returns us to the innate dualities that constitute both our individual and collective selves.’
    • ‘This book has the clearest descriptions and explanations of the so-called wave-particle duality that I have read.’
    • ‘Neither entirely human nor artificial, but a combination of the two, the cyborg problematizes all dualities and oppositions.’
    • ‘The stories revel in dualities that parody, skew and ultimately reinvent popular notions of glamour, sophistication, celebrity, sexuality and modernity.’
    • ‘That's what happens when you simplify learning into a left-brain/right-brain duality.’
    doubleness, dualism, duplexity, ambivalence
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

duality

/djuːˈalɪti/