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Arctic Circle

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noun
  1. an imaginary line drawn parallel to the equator, at 23°28prime; S of the North Pole: between the North Frigid Zone and the North Temperate Zone.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for arctic circle

Arctic Circle

noun
  1. the imaginary circle round the earth, parallel to the equator, at latitude 66° 32′ N; it marks the northernmost point at which the sun appears above the level of the horizon on the winter solstice
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

Word Origin and History for arctic circle

Arctic Circle

1550s, in reference to a celestial circle, a line around the sky which, in any location, bounds the stars which are ever-visible from that latitude (in the Northern Hemisphere, this is focused on the celestial north pole); the concept goes back to the ancient Greeks, for whom this set of constellations included most prominently the two bears (arktoi), hence the name for the circle (see arctic). Of Earth, the circle 66 degrees 32 minutes north of the equator, marking the southern extremity of the polar day, it is recorded from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

arctic circle in Science

Arctic Circle

[ärktĭk]
  1. The parallel of latitude approximately 66°33′ north. It forms the boundary between the North Temperate and North Frigid zones.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

arctic circle in Culture

Arctic Circle

Imaginary circle around the Earth about three-quarters of the way from the equator to the North Pole. North of this line is the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” where the sun never sets on the summer solstice.

Note

The Arctic Circle corresponds to the Antarctic Circle in the Southern Hemisphere.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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