Definition of unity in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state of being united or joined as a whole.

    ‘European unity’
    ‘ways of preserving family unity’
    • ‘The new political context imposed institutional unity.’
    • ‘In 1973 a plan for unity entitled Towards a United Church was produced.’
    • ‘If you challenge their conception of society and politics, then they say you are a threat to national unity or to peace and order and stability.’
    • ‘Through them, they endeavor to attain harmonious unity with God, their fellow humans, and nature.’
    • ‘We were told that it was to maintain stability, unity and peace.’
    • ‘Such regimes put up a veneer of stability, unity and consensus, just as democracies project a misleading veneer of weakness.’
    • ‘We are busy in forging unity so that a united platform is formed to launch a joint fight for the goal.’
    • ‘Most European leaders realize that a policy of opposing the United States makes European unity impossible.’
    • ‘Instead of a coherent whole expressing an organic unity through every aspect of its being, the engineers hand us a bag of separate traits.’
    • ‘The referendum at the end of an interim period of unspecified duration would be held in the context of territorial unity.’
    • ‘Today, though, the economic unity of the extended family has broken down.’
    • ‘It is the greatest threat to communal harmony, democracy, secularism, peace, progress, unity and integrity of our motherland.’
    • ‘But more significant, he adds, is that the royal family is being required to cement the political and symbolic unity of a United Kingdom when that unity is under unprecedented strain.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The political testament, which we set out below, reflects the firm desire of the majority of the peoples of this country for a form of government which will ensure freedom, equality and unity of the new nation.’
    • ‘Can the European Union retain a unity of purpose as it expands to 25 members?’
    • ‘All three voices joined together in sudden unity.’
    • ‘Siva's followers who are parents preserve family unity and teach responsibility by not granting youth financial independence.’
    • ‘The unity of the United States was effected under the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, who introduced the transcontinental railway system.’
    • ‘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.’
    union, unification, integration, amalgamation
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    1. 1.1 The state of forming a complete and harmonious whole, especially in an artistic context.
      ‘the repeated phrase gives the piece unity and cohesion’
      • ‘This notion of a complex unity of the book leads us to a second thesis.’
      • ‘The similarity between these tables and the ones made for the Gallery in Kensington in 1727 endows the whole group with a stylistic unity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Her voice modulation is of the highest caliber, very melodious, full of harmonious unity and solid stamina.’
      • ‘In profile they display a unity of composition and graceful silhouettes that exceeds any preceding examples.’
      • ‘He provides a degree of unity to the piece, by virtue of his repeated appearances.’
      • ‘I nearly fell back as it all suddenly came together for me, the pins and pieces of a great puzzle falling into harmonious unity.’
      • ‘As suggested above by Carr, however, there is not a clear, unambiguous macrostructure for the book; and this makes for a complex unity.’
      • ‘Notwithstanding this jarring absence of any thematic unity, each piece itself is worth a read.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His work is well-known in Germany, and has gained popularity around the world for its unity and purity.’
      • ‘There are movies to see for their artistic unity, visual brilliance, or dramatic power.’
      • ‘It would have also given more unity to the entire piece - made them all part of one bigger story.’
      • ‘With the Kennedy Center, I have the luxury of time - time to spend with the dancers, time to make ballets into some kind of artistic, humane unity.’
      • ‘The key to recreating artistic unity is evidence.’
      harmony, accord, concord, concurrence, cooperation, collaboration, agreement, unanimity, consensus, assent, concert, togetherness, solidarity, like-mindedness, peace, synthesis
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    2. 1.2count noun A thing forming a complex whole.
      ‘they speak of the three parts as a unity’
      • ‘So does the Bible teach that the human person is a psychosomatic unity which perishes completely with death?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It follows that a continuum is neither a unity nor an aggregation of unities.’
      • ‘We know a number of things successively when taken one at a time, which we know all at once if we know them in a unity: thus we can know the parts in the whole, or see different things in a mirror.’
      • ‘Yet we don't count up two diamonds from the deuce and two from the trey, but treat each card as a complete unity.’
      oneness, singleness, wholeness, entity, integrity, undividedness, cohesion, coherence, congruity, congruence, uniformity, homogeneity, identity, sameness
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  • 2Mathematics
    The number one.

    ‘the slope of each dotted line is less than unity’
    • ‘These papers pose the problem: If the common area of the vertex triangles is unity, is the area of the pentagon determined?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cotes discovered an important theorem on the nth roots of unity, anticipated the method of least squares and discovered a method of integrating rational fractions with binomial denominators.’
    • ‘All these proofs use complex numbers and roots of unity, as does the author's.’
  • 3count noun 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).

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For instance, Aristotle states that in a great tragedy, there should be unity of time, place, and action.’
    • ‘It's a unique and remarkably good way to finesse suspense - because of the show's strict adherence to the unity of time, it forecasts in which episode you can expect events to happen.’
    • ‘Sophocles' play was for Aristotle an exemplary tragedy, both formally, in terms of unity of action, and in its tragic story.’


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