Definition of unary in US English:



  • (especially of a mathematical operation) consisting of or involving a single component or element.

    • ‘For one thing, the hazard that plagues the unary counter is still present: A signal might fail to register at the input port, so that the state of the counter would remain unchanged.’
    • ‘The unary representation of decimal 1,000,000 needs only one type of symbol, but that symbol is repeated a million times.’
    • ‘The Turing machines do unary multiplications.’
    • ‘Whereas unary operator types use only one variable, binary operator types work with two variables.’
    • ‘In 1904 he gave axioms for a Boolean algebra, then later, in 1933, he showed that a Boolean algebra could be defined in terms of a single binary and a single unary operation.’