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[ant-ahrk-ti-kuh, -ahr-ti-] /æntˈɑrk tɪ kə, -ˈɑr tɪ-/
the continent surrounding the South Pole: almost entirely covered by an ice sheet. About 5,000,000 sq. mi. (12,950,000 sq. km).
Also called Antarctic Continent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Antarctica
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Hobbs reports that explorers in Antarctica and Greenland have frequently observed condensation on their clothing.

    Climatic Changes Ellsworth Huntington
  • The Brainchild lifted from Antarctica at exactly 2100 hours, Greenwich time.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
  • "Antarctica," the sixth continent itself, still lay unseen and untrodden.

  • Do you mean that everyone who's been arrested is here, in Antarctica?

    The Penal Cluster Ivar Jorgensen (AKA Randall Garrett)
  • On January 6th, the Commander made his first flight in Antarctica, making many photographs from his plane.

    Famous Flyers David Goodger (
British Dictionary definitions for Antarctica


a continent around the South Pole: consists of an ice-covered plateau, 1800–3000 m (6000 ft to 10 000 ft) above sea level, and mountain ranges rising to 4500 m (15 000 ft) with some volcanic peaks; average temperatures all below freezing and human settlement is confined to research stations. All political claims to the mainland are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty of 1959
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Antarctica

continent name attributed to Scottish cartographer John George Bartholomew (1860-1920), who used it on a map published 1887. From antarctic (q.v.). Hypothetical southern continents had been imagined since antiquity; first sighting of Antarctica by Europeans probably was 1820 (Lazarev and Bellingshausen). Also cf. Antipodes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Antarctica in Culture

Antarctica definition

Continent surrounding the South Pole, located almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle. It is covered by an ice cap up to thirteen thousand feet thick.

Note: Antarctica is characterized by extremely low temperatures.
Note: In 1911, Roald Amundsen became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, followed shortly thereafter by Robert Scott.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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