[ poh-lair-is, -lar-, puh- ]
/ poʊˈlɛər ɪs, -ˈlær-, pə- /


Astronomy. the polestar or North Star, a star of the second magnitude situated close to the north pole of the heavens, in the constellation Ursa Minor: the outermost star in the handle of the Little Dipper.
a two-stage U.S. ballistic missile, usually fired from a submerged submarine.

Origin of Polaris

1955–60; short for Medieval Latin stella polāris polar star

Definition for polaris (2 of 2)


[ puh-lahr-ee, paw- ]
/ pəˈlɑr i, pɔ- /


a distinctive English argot in use since at least the 18th century among groups of theatrical and circus performers and in certain homosexual communities, derived largely from Italian, directly or through Lingua Franca.

Origin of Polari

ultimately < Italian parlare to speak, talk; see parle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for polaris

British Dictionary definitions for polaris (1 of 2)


/ (pəˈlɑːrɪs) /


Also called: the Pole Star, the North Star the brightest star in the constellation Ursa Minor, situated slightly less than 1° from the north celestial pole. It is a Cepheid variable, with a period of four days. Visual magnitude: 2.08–2.17; spectral type: F8Ib
  1. a type of US two-stage intermediate-range ballistic missile, usually fired by a submerged submarine
  2. (as modifier)a Polaris submarine

Word Origin for Polaris

shortened from Medieval Latin stella polāris polar star

British Dictionary definitions for polaris (2 of 2)


Parlyaree (pɑːˈljɑːrɪ)

/ (pəˈlɑːrɪ) /


an English slang that is derived from the Lingua Franca of Mediterranean ports; brought to England by sailors from the 16th century onwards. A few words survive, esp in male homosexual slang

Word Origin for Polari

C19: from Italian parlare to speak
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

Science definitions for polaris


[ pə-lărĭs ]

A bright star at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper in the constellation Ursa Minor. Polaris is 1° from the north celestial pole, and it remains in the same location in the sky all year, making it a useful navigation tool. Polaris is actually a double star with a faint companion star and has an apparent magnitude of 2.04. Also called North Star. Scientific name: Alpha Ursae Minoris.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.