adjective arc·tic \ˈärk-tik, ˈär-tik\

: of or relating to the North Pole or the region around it

: very cold

Full Definition of ARCTIC

often capitalized :  of, or relating to, or suitable for use at the north pole or the region near it <arctic waters> <arctic animals> <arctic clothing>
a :  bitter cold :  frigid <arctic air>
b :  cold in temper or mood <an arctic smile>
arc·ti·cal·ly \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of ARCTIC

  1. The group is involved in Arctic exploration.
  2. <the arctic air of deep winter>

Origin of ARCTIC

Middle English artik, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos, from arktos bear, Ursa Major, north; akin to Latin ursus bear, Sanskrit ṛkṣa
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Ecology Terms

Malthusian, anthropogenic, biomass, carbon footprint, crepuscular, niche, sere, symbiosis, taiga, tundra

Rhymes with ARCTIC


noun arc·tic \ˈär-tik, ˈärk-tik\

Definition of ARCTIC

:  a rubber overshoe reaching to the ankle or above

First Known Use of ARCTIC


Other Clothing Terms

babushka, brogue, bumbershoot, cravat, dishabille, furbelow, layette, raiment, spectator


geographical name Arc·tic \ˈärk-tik, ˈär-tik\

Definition of ARCTIC

the Arctic Ocean and lands in it and adjacent to it

Rhymes with ARCTIC

ARCTIC Defined for Kids


adjective arc·tic \ˈärk-tik, ˈär-tik\

Definition of ARCTIC for Kids

often cap :  of or relating to the north pole or to the region around it <arctic explorers>
:  very cold <arctic temperatures>

Word History of ARCTIC

The Big Dipper is a group of stars in the northern sky. It looks like a dipper to us, but ancient people thought it looked like a large bear. The ancient Greeks gave it a name that meant bear. The English word arctic came from the Greek name for the Big Dipper. Because when we look at the Big Dipper we are looking toward the north, the word arctic refers to the region around the north pole.


geographical name Arc·tic \ˈärk-tik, ˈärt-ik\

Definition of ARCTIC for Kids

regions around the Arctic Circle
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