[suhb-ahrk-tik, -ahr-tik]

Origin of subarctic

First recorded in 1850–55; sub- + arctic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subarctic

Historical Examples of subarctic

  • In the northern, subarctic regions, it opposes a barrier against travel.

    Our Common Insects

    Alpheus Spring Packard

  • His ancestors were bred for bolting foxes and wildcats among the rocky headlands of the subarctic islands.

    Greyfriars Bobby

    Eleanor Atkinson

  • The codfish (Gadus callarias) is a creature of little beauty but of great usefulness, swarming in all arctic and subarctic seas.

  • Trees are absent, except along the inland border, where the tundra merges with the subarctic forest.

    North America

    Israel C. Russell

  • For convenience we may designate this vast and but little known northern region as the Subarctic Forest plains.

    North America

    Israel C. Russell

British Dictionary definitions for subarctic


  1. of or relating to latitudes immediately south 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

subarctic in Science


[sŭb′-ärktĭk, -ärtĭk]
  1. Relating to the geographic area just south of the Arctic Circle. The subarctic region is the coldest part of the North Temperate Zone, characterized by warm but very brief summers, and bitterly cold winters. Little vegetation exists in this climate, as temperatures are extreme, ranging from below -30°C (-22°F) in the winter and as warm as 30°C (86°F) in the summer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.