u·nit / ˈyoōnit/ • n. 1. an individual thing or person regarded as single and complete, esp. for purposes of calculation: the family unit. ∎ each of the individuals or collocations into which a complex whole may be divided: large areas of land made up of smaller units the sentence as a unit of grammar. ∎ a device that has a specified function, esp. one forming part of a complex mechanism: the gearbox and transmission unit. ∎ a piece of furniture or equipment for fitting with others like it or made of complementary parts: a sink unit. ∎ a self-contained section of accommodations in a larger building or group of buildings: one- and two-bedroom units. ∎ a part of an institution such as a hospital having a special function: the intensive care unit. ∎ a subdivision of a larger military grouping: he returned to Germany with his unit. ∎ an amount of educational instruction, typically determined by the number of hours spent in class: students take three compulsory core units. ∎ an item manufactured: [as adj.] unit cost. ∎ a police car: he eased into his unit and flicked the siren on. 2. a quantity chosen as a standard in terms of which other quantities may be expressed: a unit of measurement fifty units of electricity. 3. the number one. ∎ (units) the digit before the decimal point in decimal notation, representing an integer less than ten.