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[poh-ler] /ˈpoʊ lər/
of or relating to the North or South Pole.
of or relating to the pole of any sphere, a magnet, an electric cell, etc.
opposite in character or action:
The two have personalities that are polar.
capable of ionizing, as NaCl, HCl, or NaOH; electrolytic; heteropolar.
central; pivotal:
the polar provision of the treaty.
analogous to the polestar as a guide; guiding:
a polar precept.
Origin of polar
From the Medieval Latin word polāris, dating back to 1545-55. See pole2, -ar1
Related forms
antipolar, adjective
transpolar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for polar
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • polar ice would have been thawed by this reopening of communication.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • But here, within the polar circle, what is the lowest degree?

    The Field of Ice Jules Verne
  • It is no new sea, returned Altamont; it is in every polar chart, and has a name already.

    The Field of Ice Jules Verne
  • It was a domed city in the polar regions, where nobody ever had to go outdoors.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • I wonder if he's been frozen to death or eat up by polar bears, or what.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for polar


situated at or near, coming from, or relating to either of the earth's poles or the area inside the Arctic or Antarctic Circles: polar regions
having or relating to a pole or poles
pivotal or guiding in the manner of the Pole Star
directly opposite, as in tendency or character
  1. Also heteropolar. (of a molecule or compound) being or having a molecule in which there is an uneven distribution of electrons and thus a permanent dipole moment: water has polar molecules
  2. (of a crystal or substance) being or having a crystal that is bound by ionic bonds: sodium chloride forms polar crystals
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 polar

1550s, from Middle French polaire (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin polaris "of or pertaining to the poles," from Latin polus "an end of an axis" (see pole (n.2)). Meaning "directly opposite in character or tendency" is attested from 1832. Polar bear first recorded 1781.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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polar in Medicine

polar po·lar (pō'lər)

  1. Of or relating to a pole.

  2. Having poles. Used of certain nerve cells having one or more processes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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polar in Science
  1. Relating to a pole, such as the pole of a magnet or one of the electrodes of an electrolytic cell.

  2. Relating to the North Pole or the South Pole of Earth, or analogous regions of another planet.

  3. Relating to a molecule or substance that has polar bonds.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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