Main definitions of union in English

: union1Union2



  • 1The action or fact of joining or being joined, especially in a political context.

    ‘he was opposed to closer political or economic union with Europe’
    ‘a currency union between the two countries’
    • ‘At the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-39 the union of the churches was finally realised.’
    • ‘The point is that I also think it quite reasonable to not want to join in closer political union with the EU.’
    • ‘Plant the roots so the bud union or graft is 2 inches below the ground level.’
    • ‘A task force was created to draft a plan of union, and a timeline was proposed.’
    • ‘This is about - not just about economic monetary union, it's about political union as well.’
    • ‘Budding is usually done at ground level, and often times the rootstock will send up shoots from below the bud union.’
    • ‘Political and economic union have not developed swiftly or easily, and the development of a common intelligence policy is likely to be similar.’
    • ‘Grafted roses can put out suckers from the rootstock below the bud union.’
    • ‘More than a political and economic union, the EU represents a community of values.’
    • ‘Economic and political union cannot be separated.’
    • ‘But there were huge differences between Ireland and the others, the key one being our political and currency union with Germany.’
    • ‘In one case, actors of each kind were joined together in near-Siamese union, each performing in his own way.’
    • ‘The monetary union furthermore operates with a central bank whose primary concern is to combat inflation.’
    • ‘Nearer home, there were attempts from 1947 onwards to form a political and economic union of Western Europe.’
    • ‘Even EU President Romano Prodi has said he views economic union as going hand in hand with political union.’
    • ‘After World War II, the Grand Duchy became an active participant in the process of forming economic and political union within Europe.’
    • ‘In fact, the UK has probably passed the point of maximum political returns for joining the single currency union.’
    • ‘The vision of a socialist economic and political union includes a single currency, but not as others know it.’
    • ‘This fact of currency union renders all the sophistry of the Chancellor's five tests otiose.’
    • ‘Your description seems more in keeping with the union of opposites and elements in alchemy.’
    unification, uniting, joining, merging, merger, fusion, fusing, amalgamating, amalgamation, junction, coalition, combining, combination, consolidation, conjunction, confederation, federation, integration, synthesis, blend, blending, mixture, mingling, commingling
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    1. 1.1 A state of harmony or agreement.
      ‘they live in perfect union’
      • ‘They envisioned a more perfect union with freedom, liberty, justice, and equality for all Americans.’
      • ‘The voices spoke in perfect union; men, women and children each spoke with their own voice, all equal in death.’
      • ‘The right wine can create a delightful union with a roast and companion dish.’
      • ‘To balance this he remained a staunch member of the Church of England and a firm believer in the indissoluble union between Church and State.’
      • ‘Looking at Hong Kong designers and brands, we see a perfect, seamless union of tradition and innovation.’
      • ‘He begins with the Zen garden, ‘quintessentially a place for meditation, the perfect union of nature and contrivance’.’
      • ‘For him, Asia and Europe was his parents, and he sought a more perfect union.’
      • ‘The final goal of Shaivism is realizing one's identity with Shiva in perfect union and non-differentiation (monism).’
      • ‘Then there are the Buddhas: the spiritual union of perfect oneness beyond speech.’
      • ‘Everything in it, on the level of staging, lighting, cutting and framing, creates that sense and sensation of perfect union, of the oneness of the lovers.’
      • ‘Individuals of both, mingling with the citizens, disseminated principles of union among them.’
      • ‘And he exists in perfect love and union with the Father.’
      • ‘The idea of incorporation brings organic relationship into the present and the future by aspiring to a more perfect union, human and divine.’
      • ‘Earthly marriage reveals new measures of his grace and glory to those made one in him, while also mirroring the more perfect union of God with his people.’
      • ‘So while protecting ourselves abroad, let us form a more perfect union here at home.’
      • ‘It's not one of denial, it's one of bringing the body and the mind into perfect unity and union.’
      • ‘They're looking for the perfect union between business and art.’
      • ‘Ultimately, we tear our spirits out of our bodies as our way of declaring harmonious union.’
      • ‘The union makes perfect sense - rai is both Algeria's punk music and its signature dance music.’
      • ‘Young notes the sexual imagery in the poem as a representation of the ‘perfect union between poet and image.’’
      unity, accord, unison, unanimity, harmony, concord, agreement, concurrence, undividedness
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    2. 1.2 A marriage.
      ‘their union had not been blessed with children’
      • ‘This strange partnership was rightly described as more of an ‘arranged marriage than a romantic union.’’
      • ‘Although my parents emulate everything I would hope to find in a union, my interests have focussed on many not able to offer such a thing.’
      • ‘So when Henry met nursing student Joy Martin three years ago and the two fell in love, they decided they wanted a holy union in a Catholic church.’
      • ‘Gay and lesbian Vermonters do not have the right to call their unions marriage.’
      • ‘The study found that 22 percent of married or domestic partner couples report they are involved in a religiously diverse union.’
      • ‘In 1985, at least 75 percent of all new unions between women and men were established without the payment of bride wealth.’
      • ‘But she said that while both parties consented to arranged marriages, forced unions were made under duress.’
      • ‘It is as though all traces of eroticism have been whitewashed out of the movie's principal heterosexual union.’
      • ‘We need to demand the same respect under the law for our unions that heterosexual marriage provides.’
      • ‘Gratian ascribed to the concubinage relationship the quality of marital affection which the Roman jurists had reserved for marriage unions.’
      • ‘Same-sex marriage advocates are urging MPs to defeat an anticipated motion from the Canadian Alliance defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.’
      • ‘In contrast, older people living in stable marriages are prevented from taking communion simply because their union has not been blessed in church.’
      • ‘This reception also symbolizes and makes real our union with the whole Church.’
      • ‘Marriage is a union of souls, not just bodies and hearts.’
      • ‘Should the Church bless same-sex unions and ordain gay and lesbian people in same-sex partnership?’
      • ‘The proclamation went on to define marriage as ‘a union between a man and a woman.’’
      • ‘Marriage is considered a union of two families, not the choice of two individuals.’
      • ‘In other words, no state will be required to grant marriage benefits to unions other than marriage; those incidents are left up to the voters to decide.’
      • ‘A marriage is considered a union of two families as well as two individuals.’
      • ‘The bride and groom take a drink to symbolize their union.’
      marriage, wedding, partnership, pairing, alliance, match, compact, affiliation, civil partnership
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  • 2A club, society, or association formed by people with a common interest or purpose.

    ‘members of the Students' Union’
    • ‘The society serves as a union of personalities lobbying for the success of the institution similar to the Philadelphia Orchestra.’
    • ‘I don't think there's a Turk union or association or club chapter.’
    • ‘These groups include clubs, teams, societies, unions, and centres on campus (to name but a few).’
    • ‘Honestly, the activities of our student union are too ephemeral: often changing and always short-lived.’
    association, trade union, alliance, league, guild
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    1. 2.1 An organized association of workers formed to protect and further their rights and interests; a labor union.
      ‘the National Farmers' Union’
      • ‘It was signed with teaching unions - except the National Union of Teachers - in January.’
      • ‘If the union leaders refuse to fight then New Labour will get a breathing space on some fronts.’
      • ‘The number of national unions varied during the times, mainly because of frequent mergers.’
      • ‘The union wants a four percent pay increase and a trust fund to protect workers' entitlements.’
      • ‘Back in the mid-1990s, the union leaders got the idea to unionize my then small business with its six production employees.’
      • ‘We are 100 per cent behind our union, as every firefighter knows our fight for better pay is a just one.’
      • ‘The union is calling on trade unionists to bombard the council with messages of protest.’
      • ‘They have spoken to Unison branches and met trade unionists from other unions.’
      • ‘The union estimated that between 80 and 90 per cent of its members walked out of job centres and benefit offices on Monday.’
      • ‘The union constantly assists trade unions in poor countries to organise and campaign for human rights and acceptable labour standards.’
      • ‘Members of the tugboat and barge operators union will now have to vote on the proposed deal - a process that could take up to six weeks.’
      • ‘The national teachers' unions like to present themselves as the underdog in the fight over school reform.’
      • ‘The unions gained one percent but went three weeks with no pay.’
      • ‘Because of the anti trade union laws the union reps couldn't call one officially.’
      • ‘At the end of the book, he declares that labour historians must pay attention to those wage earners who rejected class struggle and who were more loyal to their churches than to their unions.’
      • ‘It would be replaced by a system in which the faculty would be represented by a few union leaders.’
      • ‘I would have preferred the plumbers union myself.’
      • ‘This is bound up both with the bipartisan support for these attacks on city employees, and with the role of the city unions and the entire trade union bureaucracy.’
      • ‘The union leaders were forced to call for a general strike and the cabinet rushed to end the dispute.’
      • ‘Each of the unions are now seeking national executive endorsement for industrial action.’
  • 3British historical A number of parishes consolidated for the purposes of administering the Poor Laws.

    • ‘In addition, the new Act created a commission to supervise the establishment of unions of parishes in England and Wales.’
    • ‘Homfray was instituted as incumbent of the Bunclody union of parishes by Bishop Peter Barrett in St Mary's Church of Ireland on February 18.’
    1. 3.1 An association of independent churches for purposes of cooperation.
      • ‘Marking the 40th anniversary of the existence of the union of seven churches has been a culmination of a multitude of ups and downs for the UCZ.’
      • ‘In 1972 the Presbyterian church of England merged with most of the congregational unions to create the United Reform Church, but the decline in membership was not arrested.’
      • ‘Churches Together in South West York, a union of nine churches in the area, are all circulating the petition along with businesses in Micklegate.’
      • ‘The governing idea was that the agency for distributing the money should ordinarily be the Baptist unions or conventions in the recipient countries.’
      • ‘Certain tensions created by different theological understandings now were forced to exist side by side in a new union of churches.’
  • 4A political unit consisting of a number of states or provinces with the same central government.

    1. 4.1 The US, especially from its founding by the original thirteen states in 1787–90 to the secession of the Confederate states in 1860–61.
    2. 4.2 The northern states of the US that opposed the seceding Confederate states in the Civil War.
  • 5Mathematics
    The set that comprises all the elements (and no others) contained in any of two or more given sets.

    • ‘The locus of their centers is the union of two angle bisectors - two one line sets forming an angle of / 2.’
    • ‘In what follows, we will apply results about centroids of domains to unions of curves or line segments.’
    • ‘Venn extended Boole's mathematical logic and is best known to mathematicians and logicians for his diagrammatic way of representing sets, and their unions and intersections.’
    • ‘Consider a graph G which is formed by taking the union of k cycles.’
    1. 5.1 The operation of forming a union.
      • ‘For Blake, the fact that two sets were being operated together brought to mind another set operation, union.’
      • ‘It followed that number-theoretic operations could be explained in terms of set-theoretic operations such as intersection, union, and the like.’
      • ‘Venn diagrams deal with sets, their union and intersection.’
      • ‘This assembly uses simple programming and mathematical principles: Boolean, union and intersection.’
  • 6A pipe coupling.

    • ‘The vertical gas line comes to a T joint below the union toward the bottom side of the water heater and is connected to the top vertical opening of the T joint.’
    • ‘Split hoses can be repaired with a proper union joint or re-attach the hose to the machine.’
    • ‘Planting the union below soil level helps protect from the cold and planting the union above soil level makes it easier to detect and remove suckers.’
    join, joint, intersection, link, bond, weld, seam, coupling, connection, juncture
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  • 7A part of a flag with an emblem symbolizing national union, typically occupying the upper corner next to the staff.

  • 8A fabric made of two or more different yarns, typically cotton and linen or silk.

  • 9US A building at a college or university used by students for recreation and other nonacademic activities.

    • ‘But the scene in their London Bridge rehearsal room couldn't be further removed from Canterbury Christchurch University College student union.’
    • ‘Yet, an eight-student takeover last month of the student union's ‘tower’ has severely shaken that image.’
    • ‘Unusual bathing habits featured at New College's students' union too.’
    • ‘What happens when you get a bunch of drag kings and queens to perform at high noon in front of the student union at a big midwestern state university?’
    • ‘Teletype machine was set up in the student union at the University of Buffalo, where I was enrolled, and lottery numbers were posted as they were pulled.’
    • ‘At university the weekly karaoke in the students union was dominated by people who thought they were on Pop Idol, and were there for only one reason - to be the best singer and win the crate of lager.’
    • ‘The next clinic is between 5pm and 8pm on March 31 at St Martin's College student union.’
    • ‘I was on at the student union of the University of Central Lancashire today.’
    • ‘It followed that our model of ‘student union versus research facility’ was also wrong.’
    • ‘They extend to the south and blossom with colorful vertical banners that identify the student union and the activities it holds.’
    • ‘It has a door leading to the adjacent dining room of the university students' union, the debating society.’
    • ‘We walked over to the student union, ordered some lunch and sat at a corner table by ourselves.’
    • ‘I was in the Rathskellar, a bar and grill in the University of Wisconsin's union, waiting for my next class to begin.’
    • ‘Benson Osawe, academic affairs officer at the university's student union, said students were often seen as easy prey.’
    • ‘The singer will perform at the Valentine's Day event at Bradford University's student union.’
    • ‘For much of his twenties he stayed on at university as the student union's entertainment manager.’
    • ‘There is ‘hell-for-leather’ jiving in the student union of Queen's College, Belfast.’
    • ‘Advocates argued that it would increase community spirit to have everyone coming through the student union.’
    • ‘Finally I manage to escape and arrive in the beer-sticky warren that is Cardiff University students' union to meet the band.’
    • ‘We meet in the Quad because the student union, which is located right next to the Quad, has a nice expanse of white wall that serves perfectly as a projection screen.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from ecclesiastical Latin unio(n-) ‘unity’, from Latin unus ‘one’.




Main definitions of union in English

: union1Union2


proper noun

  • An industrial and residential township in northeastern New Jersey; population 53,673 (est. 2008).