- 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.
- the tropics, the regions lying between and near these parallels of latitude; the Torrid Zone and neighboring regions.
Origin of tropic
OTHER WORDS FROM tropicnon·trop·ic, adjectiveun·trop·ic, adjective
Other definitions for tropic (2 of 2)
Origin of -tropic
WORDS THAT USE -TROPIC
What does -tropic mean?
The combining form –tropic 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.
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.
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?
How to use tropic in a sentence
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).How Much Paramount Lost In Its Deal with Spielberg|Sharon Waxman|October 15, 2008|DAILY BEAST
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.God Wills It!|William Stearns Davis
That organ has only to exhale, in its degree, a fostering tropic air in order to produce complications almost beyond reckoning.The Awkward Age|Henry James
Scurlocks voice, rising out of the softly-lit tropic evening, died suddenly.Cursed|George Allan England