[ant-ahrk-tik, -ahr-tik]
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  1. the Antarctic, the Antarctic Ocean and Antarctica.

Origin of antarctic

1325–75; < Latin antarcticus < Greek antarktikós (see ant-, arctic); replacing Middle English antartik (< Middle French) < Medieval Latin antarticus
Can be confusedantarctic arctic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for antarctic


  1. the Antarctic or Antarctic Zone Antarctica and the surrounding waters
  1. of or relating to the south polar regions

Word Origin for Antarctic

C14: via Latin from Greek antarktikos; see anti-, arctic
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 antarctic

late 14c., antartyk "opposite to the north pole" (adj.), also (with capital A) "region around the South pole" (n.), from Old French antartique, from Medieval Latin antarcticus, from Greek antarktikos "opposite the north," from anti- "opposite" (see anti-) + arktikos "arctic" (see arctic). The first -c- sound ceased to be pronounced in Medieval Latin and was dropped in Old French. Modern English spelling, which restores it, dates from 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

antarctic in Culture


The region around the South Pole, Antarctica, and the surrounding ocean.

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.