• synonyms


[sur-kuh m-poh-ler]
  1. around or near a pole, as of the earth.
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Origin of circumpolar

First recorded in 1680–90; circum- + polar
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for circumpolar

Historical Examples

  • This is not, like Ursa Major, or like Cassiopeia, said to be "circumpolar."

    The Story of the Heavens

    Robert Stawell Ball

  • In Miocene times they were abundant, and of many species in circumpolar regions.


    Joseph Le Conte

  • "They are the highest mountains in the circumpolar regions," replied Barbican.

  • Cassiopeias chaire, a circumpolar constellation having a fancied resemblance to a chair.

  • As regards the Arctic and Antarctic regions, the continuity or circumpolar distribution of the shore fishes is well established.

British Dictionary definitions for circumpolar


  1. (of a star or constellation) visible above the horizon at all times at a specified locality on the earth's surface
  2. surrounding or located at or near either of the earth's poles
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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 circumpolar


1680s in astronomy; 1690s in geography, from circum- + polar.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

circumpolar in Science


  1. Located or found in one of Earth's polar regions.
  2. Denoting a star that from a given observer's latitude does not go below the horizon during its diurnal motion. The closer an observer is to one of the poles, the greater the portion of the sky that contains circumpolar stars. At the pole itself, all stars are circumpolar.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.