arctic

[ahrk-tik or especially for 7, ahr-tik]

adjective

noun

(often initial capital letter) the region lying north of the Arctic Circle or of the northernmost limit of tree growth; the polar area north of the timber line.
arctics, warm, waterproof overshoes.

Origin of arctic

1350–1400; < Latin arcticus < Greek arktikós northern, literally, of the Bear, equivalent to árkt(os) bear (see Ursa Major) + -ikos -ic; replacing Middle English artik < Middle French artique < Latin
Related formsarc·ti·cal·ly, adverbsu·per·arc·tic, adjective
Can be confusedantarctic arctic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arctic


British Dictionary definitions for arctic

arctic

adjective

of or relating to the Arcticarctic temperatures
informal cold; freezingthe weather at Christmas was arctic

noun

US a high waterproof overshoe with buckles
(modifier) designed or suitable for conditions of extreme coldarctic clothing

Word Origin for arctic

C14: from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos northern, literally: pertaining to (the constellation of) the Bear, from arktos bear

Arctic

noun

the Arctic or Arctic Zone the regions north of the Arctic Circle

adjective

of or relating to the regions north of the Arctic Circle
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

Arctic

adj.

late 14c., artik, from Old French artique, from Medieval Latin articus, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos "of the north," literally "of the (constellation) Bear," from arktos "bear; Ursa Major; the region of the north," the Bear being a northerly constellation. From *rkto-, the usual Indo-European base for "bear" (cf. Avestan aresho, Armenian arj, Albanian ari, Latin ursus, Welsh arth); see bear (n.) for why the name changed in Germanic. The -c- was restored from 1550s. As a noun, "the Arctic regions," from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for arctic

Arctic

Region in the northernmost area of the Earth, centered on the North Pole.

Note

The weather of the Arctic is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers.

Note

The Arctic has been the object of much exploration by air, land, and sea. The shortest distance by plane between continents in the Northern Hemisphere is often over the Arctic.
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.