- either of two corresponding parallels of latitude on the terrestrial globe, one (tropic of Cancer) about 23½° N, and the other (tropic of Capricorn) about 23½° S of the equator, being the boundaries of the Torrid Zone.
- the tropics,the regions lying between and near these parallels of latitude; the Torrid Zone and neighboring regions.
Origin of tropic
Origin of -tropic
Related Words for tropicwild, equatorial, jungle, summer, stifling, thermal, burning, tropical, hot, humid, steamy, sticky, sultry, sweltering, torrid, warm
Examples from the Web for tropic
Contemporary Examples of tropic
In Tropic Thunder, he was a hopelessly deluded movie star in search of an Oscar.Ben Stiller's Daddy Issues
April 20, 2011
He did a comic turn in Tropic Thunder and a quirky commercial for Jimmy Kimmel that aired during the Oscars.The Resurrection of Tom Cruise
May 1, 2009
"Tropic Thunder" was a modest hit ($159 million), but it cost a fortune to make ($100 million).How Much Paramount Lost In Its Deal with Spielberg
October 15, 2008
Historical Examples of tropic
The fever was in his brain, the magic of the tropic moon was flooding his soul.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
There are islands, tropic islands, there, where it's always summer.
They watched the sun set in all its glory over the tropic sea.
In truth, he pined after the Capricorn—I don't mean only the tropic; I mean the ship too.Victory
The sun-sets on the English stage are as rapid as in any tropic region.Cruel Barbara Allen
David Christie Murray
Word Origin for tropic
adj combining form
Word Origin for -tropic
late 14c., "either of the two circles in the celestial sphere which describe the northernmost and southernmost points of the ecliptic," from Late Latin tropicus "of or pertaining to the solstice" (as a noun, "one of the tropics"), from Latin tropicus "pertaining to a turn," from Greek tropikos "of or pertaining to a turn or change, or to the solstice" (as a noun, "the solstice"), from trope "a turning" (see trope).
The notion is of the point at which the sun "turns back" after reaching its northernmost or southernmost point in the sky. Extended 1520s to the corresponding latitudes on the earth's surface (23 degrees 28 minutes north and south); meaning "region between these parallels" is from 1837. Tropical "hot and lush like the climate of the tropics" is first attested 1834.