Bipolar refers to having two poles or extremes, which is applicable to different domains and contexts.
Etymology of Bipolar
The term “bipolar” has its roots in the Latin language. It is derived from the combination of two Latin words: “bi,” meaning “two,” and “polaris,” meaning “end” or “pole.” The Latin word “polaris” is derived from the Greek word “polos,” which also means “end” or “axis.”
The prefix “bi-” is commonly used in English to indicate the number two or the presence of two elements. When combined with “polaris,” it forms “bipolar,” which literally means “having two poles” or “having two ends.”
Examples of Bipolar
1. Medical Device: Bipolar electrocautery refers to a type of electrocautery in which both ends of the electrosurgical instrument are electrified and the circuit is completed by passing through the tissue between the two ends. Thus, only the tissue between the two ends is cauterized or burned. In monopolar electrocautery, the electric current passes through the patient’s body (typically via a grounding pad placed on the patient’s back or leg) and the small contact area of the electrosurgical instrument burns the tissue.
2. Bipolar neuron: In biology, a bipolar neuron is a type of neuron that has two opposite poles or extremities, typically found in sensory systems such as the retina of the eye.
3. Bipolar disorder: In psychiatry, “bipolar” specifically relates to bipolar disorder, a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings between periods of mania (elevated mood, excessive energy) and depression (low mood, lack of energy).
4. Bipolar junction transistor (BJT): In electronics, the term “bipolar” specifically refers to a type of transistor known as a bipolar junction transistor (BJT).
5. Relating to the polar regions: “Bipolar” can also be used to describe something related to the Earth’s polar regions, such as the Arctic and Antarctic.
6. Bipolar World: In geopolitics, a “bipolar” world refers to a geopolitical structure where power and influence are primarily divided between two dominant superpowers or blocs. This term was particularly used during the Cold War era to describe the global power struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union.« Return to Dictionary