Advertisement

Advertisement

View synonyms for tropic

tropic

1

[ trop-ik ]

noun

  1. Geography.
    1. either of two corresponding parallels of latitude on the terrestrial globe, one tropic of Cancer about 23½° N, and the other tropic of Capricorn about 23½° S of the equator, being the boundaries of the Torrid Zone.
    2. the tropics, the regions lying between and near these parallels of latitude; the Torrid Zone and neighboring regions.
  2. Astronomy. either of two circles on the celestial sphere, one lying in the same plane as the tropic of Cancer, the other in the same plane as the tropic of Capricorn.


adjective

  1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or occurring in the tropics; tropical:

    romance under the tropic skies of Old Mexico.

-tropic

2
  1. a combining form with the meanings “turned toward, with an orientation toward” that specified by the initial element ( geotropic ), “having an affinity for, affecting” what is specified ( lipotropic; neurotropic; psychotropic ), “affecting the activity of, maintaining” a specified organ ( gonadotropic ).

tropic

1

/ ˈtrɒpɪk /

noun

  1. sometimes capital either of the parallel lines of latitude at about 23 1 2 °N ( tropic of Cancer ) and 23 1 2 °S ( tropic of Capricorn ) of the equator
  2. the tropics
    the tropics often capital that part of the earth's surface between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn; the Torrid Zone
  3. astronomy either of the two parallel circles on the celestial sphere having the same latitudes and names as the corresponding lines on the earth


adjective

  1. a less common word for tropical

-tropic

2

combining form

  1. turning or developing in response to a certain stimulus

    heliotropic

tropic

/ trŏpĭk /

  1. Either of the two parallels of latitude representing the points farthest north and south at which the Sun can shine directly overhead. The northern tropic is the Tropic of Cancer and the southern one is the Tropic of Capricorn .
  2. tropics. The region of the Earth lying between these latitudes. The tropics are generally the warmest and most humid region of the Earth.
  3. Also called Torrid Zone


Discover More

Other Words From

  • non·tropic adjective
  • un·tropic adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of tropic1

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin tropicus < Greek tropikós pertaining to a turn, equivalent to tróp ( os ) turn + -ikos -ic

Origin of tropic2

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of tropic1

C14: from Late Latin tropicus belonging to a turn, from Greek tropikos , from tropos a turn; from the ancient belief that the sun turned back at the solstices

Origin of tropic2

from Greek tropos a turn; see trope

Discover More

Example Sentences

Mr Hock used to be an owner of the Hawaiian Tropic Zone in Times Square.

In Tropic Thunder, he was a hopelessly deluded movie star in search of an Oscar.

He did a comic turn in Tropic Thunder and a quirky commercial for Jimmy Kimmel that aired during the Oscars.

"Tropic Thunder" was a modest hit ($159 million), but it cost a fortune to make ($100 million).

Some tropic birds were seen this morning but as yet neither albatrosses nor pintadoes had made their appearance.

This specimen was obtained at Ascension, and is common in all parts of the Atlantic within or near the Tropic.

Through the tracery of the lattice came the warm breeze, bearing the narcotic scent of those tropic gardens.

That organ has only to exhale, in its degree, a fostering tropic air in order to produce complications almost beyond reckoning.

Scurlocks voice, rising out of the softly-lit tropic evening, died suddenly.

Advertisement

Discover More

Words That Use -tropic

What does -tropic mean?

The combining formtropic is used like a suffix for a variety of meanings. It can indicate “turned toward, with an orientation toward” something specified by the first part of the word. This sense of -tropic is especially used in biology and botany.

It can also denote “having an affinity for, affecting” a specified thing or “affecting the activity of, maintaining” an organ. Here, it can be synonymous with -trophic, which you can learn more about at our Words That Use article for the form. This sense of -tropic is especially used in biochemistry and physiology.

Closely related to -tropic is -tropous. The combining forms -tropy and -tropism are used to form abstract nouns from concrete nouns using -tropous and -tropic (and vice versa).

Where does -tropic come from?

The form -tropic comes from the Greek suffix –tropos, meaning “pertaining to a turn.” This suffix is based on trópos, “turn,” and tropḗ, “a turning.”

The Greek trópos is also the source of trope, tropical, and yes, the word tropic itself. It’s your turn to make the connection between “turning,” figures of speech, and the tropics at our entries for the words.

Corresponding forms of -tropic combined to the beginning of words are tropo- and trop-. Discover their specific applications of our Words That Use articles for the forms.

Examples of -tropic

One word you may be familiar with that features the form -tropic is hydrotropic, a biological term characterizing plants that orient their growth in the direction of moisture.

The first part of the word, hydro-, from the Greek hýdōr, means “water.” The second part of the word, -tropic, indicates “turned toward.” So, hydrotropic literally translates to “turned towards water.”

What are some words that use the combining form -tropic?

Break it down!

The combining form thermo- means “heat.” With this in mind, a plant described as thermotropic orients its growth toward what?

Word of the Day

petrichor

[pet-ri-kawr]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Dictionary.com Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement