Meaning of “union” in the English Dictionary

"union" in British English

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uk /ˈjuː.nj.ən/ us /ˈjuː.nj.ən/

union noun (JOINING)

B2 [ S or U ] the act or the state of being joined together:

Meanwhile the debate on European political and monetary union continues.
formal She believes that the union (= marriage) of man and woman in holy matrimony is for ever.
the Union

[ S ] (in the American Civil War) the states that did not separate from the United States

More examples

  • The signing of the treaty marked a major milestone on the road to European union.
  • The two countries are holding a summit to discuss economic and monetary union.

union noun (WORKERS)

More examples

  • Management are having discussions with the union about possible redundancies.
  • The car workers' union is demanding a 7% pay rise this year.
  • Her debating skills were honed in the students' union.
  • The union decided to ballot its members on the issue .
  • The union safeguards the interests of all its members.

(Definition of “union” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"union" in American English

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unionnoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈjun·jən/

union noun [ C/U ] (THINGS JOINED)

the act or the state of being joined together

The union of two people refers to marriage.

union noun [ C/U ] (POLITICAL UNIT)

social studies a political unit made up of two or more separate units such as states

the Union US history

In the American Civil War, the Union refers to the states that did not separate from the United States.

union noun [ C/U ] (ORGANIZATION)

social studies [ C ] a labor union

(Definition of “union” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"union" in Business English

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uk /ˈjuːnjən/ us

[ C ] UK also trade union, US also labor union HR, WORKPLACE an organization that represents the people who work in a particular industry, protects their rights and may agree pay, working conditions, etc. with their employers:

"No date has yet been set for a strike, the union said in a statement to the press this morning.
The unions are on strike over wage concerns.
public-sector/public-employee/state-worker unions
civil-service/white-collar/blue-collar unions
join/belong to a union The new generation of workers is less likely to join a union.

[ C ] a group of two or more countries that work together or that have the same government:

the European Union

[ S or U ] the act of joining two or more things together, or the state of being joined together:

Both bosses had a financial interest in making the merger work, as the success of the union of their two companies showed.

(Definition of “union” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)