From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Union \Un"ion\ (?; 277), n. [F., from L. unio oneness, union, a
   single large pearl, a kind of onion, fr. unus one. See One,
   and cf. Onion, Unit.]
   1. The act of uniting or joining two or more things into one,
      or the state of being united or joined; junction;
      coalition; combination.
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   Note: Union differs from connection, as it implies that the
         bodies are in contact, without an inter?ening body;
         whereas things may be connected by the in???vention of
         a third body, as by a cord or chain.
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   2. Agreement and conjunction of mind, spirit, will,
      affections, or the like; harmony; concord.
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   3. That which is united, or made one; something formed by a
      combination or coalition of parts or members; a
      confederation; a consolidated body; a league; as, the
      weavers have formed a union; trades unions have become
      very numerous; the United States of America are often
      called the Union. --A. Hamilton.
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   4. A textile fabric composed of two or more materials, as
      cotton, silk, wool, etc., woven together.
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   5. A large, fine pearl. [Obs.]
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            If they [pearls] be white, great, round, smooth, and
            weighty . . . our dainties and delicates here at
            Rome . . . call them unions, as a man would say
            "singular," and by themselves alone.  --Holland.
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            In the cup an union shall he throw,
            Richer than that which four successive kings
            In Denmark's crown have worn.         --Shak.
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   6. A device emblematic of union, used on a national flag or
      ensign, sometimes, as in the military standard of Great
      Britain, covering the whole field; sometimes, as in the
      flag of the United States, and the English naval and
      marine flag, occupying the upper inner corner, the rest of
      the flag being called the fly. Also, a flag having such a
      device; especially, the flag of Great Britain.
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   Note: The union of the United States ensign is a cluster of
         white stars, denoting the union of the States, and,
         properly, equal in number to that of the States,
         displayed on a blue field; the fly being composed of
         alternate stripes of red and white. The union of the
         British ensign is the three crosses of St. George, St.
         Andrew, and St. Patrick in combination, denoting the
         union of England, Scotland and Ireland, displayed on a
         blue field in the national banner used on shore, on a
         red, white, or blue field in naval ensigns, and with a
         white border or fly in the merchant service.
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   7. (Mach.) A joint or other connection uniting parts of
      machinery, or the like, as the elastic pipe of a tender
      connecting it with the feed pipe of a locomotive engine;
      especially, a pipe fitting for connecting pipes, or pipes
      and fittings, in such a way as to facilitate
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   8. (Brewing) A cask suspended on trunnions, in which
      fermentation is carried on.
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   Hypostatic union (Theol.) See under Hypostatic.

   Latin union. See under Latin.

   Legislative Union (Eng. Hist.), the union of Great Britain
      and Ireland, which took place Jan. 1, 1801.

   Union, or Act of Union (Eng. Hist.), the act by which
      Scotland was united to England, or by which the two
      kingdoms were incorporated into one, in 1707.

   Union by the first intention, or {Union by the second
   intention}. (Surg.) See To heal by the first intention, or
      To heal by the second intention, under Intention.

   Union down (Naut.), a signal of distress at sea made by
      reversing the flag, or turning its union downward.

   Union jack. (Naut.) See Jack, n., 10.

   Union joint. (Mech.)
      (a) A joint formed by means of a union.
      (b) A piece of pipe made in the form of the letter T.
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   Syn: Unity; junction; connection; concord; alliance;
        coalition; combination; confederacy.

   Usage: Union, Unity. Union is the act of bringing two or
          more things together so as to make but one, or the
          state of being united into one. Unity is a state of
          simple oneness, either of essence, as the unity of
          God, or of action, feeling, etc., as unity of design,
          of affection, etc. Thus, we may speak of effecting a
          union of interests which shall result in a unity of
          labor and interest in securing a given object.
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                One kingdom, joy, and union without end.
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                [Man] is to . . . beget
                Like of his like, his image multiplied.
                In unity defective; which requires
                Collateral love, and dearest amity. --Milton.
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