arc·​tic | \ ˈärk-tik How to pronounce arctic (audio) , ˈär-tik How to pronounce arctic (audio) \

Definition of arctic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 often capitalized : of, relating to, or suitable for use at the north pole or the region near it arctic waters arctic animals arctic clothing
2a : bitter cold : frigid arctic air
b : cold in temper or mood an arctic smile


arc·​tic | \ ˈär-tik How to pronounce arctic (audio) , ˈärk-tik How to pronounce arctic (audio) \

Definition of arctic (Entry 2 of 2)

: a rubber overshoe reaching to the ankle or above

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Other Words from arctic


arctically \ ˈärk-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē , ˈär-​ti-​ How to pronounce arctically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of arctic in a Sentence


The group is involved in Arctic exploration. the arctic air of deep winter

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

A few of her favorites are Daltile’s Rittenhouse Square in arctic white, which is $2.87 per square foot, and various subway styles produced by Heath Ceramics and Fireclay Tile. Lexi Mainland, Los Angeles Times, "One-Step Makeover: How a new backsplash can dramatically transform the look of your kitchen," 22 Aug. 2019 Instead of going from mission to mission, The Coalition lets players explore a large arctic and desert areas. Gieson Cacho, The Mercury News, "Review: ‘Gears of War 5’ uses past to set path for its future," 6 Sep. 2019 At 81 sites across the United States, stretching from arctic tundra in Alaska to tropical forests in Puerto Rico, state-of-the-art sensors are collecting a wide range of environmental data designed to allow ecologists to detect large-scale patterns. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "NSF’s huge ecological observatory is open for business. But tensions remain," 29 Aug. 2019 Scientists have reported a nearly 13% decrease per decade in the arctic sea ice minimum, an increase in stronger, more destructive storms, and an increase in extinction and animal endangerment — all as a result of climate change. Teen Vogue, "9 Teen Climate Activists Fighting For The Future Of The Planet," 24 July 2019 The history of our planet’s climate is recorded by nature herself — written in tree rings and arctic ices, corals and deep ocean sediments. Los Angeles Times, "Earth warmed faster in the last few decades than the previous 1,900 years, study says," 24 July 2019 Morocco, always down for a challenge, decided to figure out a fudge recipe that didn't require an arctic blast to keep from melting. Amanda Shapiro, Bon Appétit, "A Healthy Fudge Recipe You Can Eat Straight From the Fridge," 23 July 2019 The data this system gathers will be used for a variety of purposes, from maritime tracking and monitoring arctic ice to assessing crops and planning for natural disasters. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "SpaceX will launch Canada’s radar satellites," 12 June 2019 Sea level change compared with a 20th-century average, inches Lower Higher Sea level change compared with a 20th-century average, inches Lower Higher 1880 0 2015 8.9 The extent of our arctic sea ice is shrinking. Kennedy Elliott, National Geographic, "See the drastic toll climate change is taking on our oceans," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In 2016, because of the decreased Caribou herd population, hunters living outside the Northwest arctic were banned from hunting Caribou on federal lands. Maka Monture, Teen Vogue, "The Arctic Youth Ambassadors Program Is Bringing Awareness to Environmental and Community Issues in Alaska," 24 Sep. 2018 But say a warming arctic is responsible for wacky winter weather in the United States. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Controversial Link Between Epic Storms and a Warming Arctic," 13 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'arctic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of arctic


circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1868, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arctic


Middle English artik, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos, from arktos bear, Ursa Major, north; akin to Latin ursus bear, Sanskrit ṛkṣa

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Statistics for arctic

Last Updated

3 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arctic

The first known use of arctic was circa 1540

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More Definitions for arctic



English Language Learners Definition of arctic

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


arc·​tic | \ ˈärk-tik How to pronounce arctic (audio) , ˈär-tik\

Kids Definition of arctic

1 often capitalized : of or relating to the north pole or to the region around it arctic explorers
2 : very cold arctic temperatures

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More from Merriam-Webster on arctic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with arctic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for arctic

Spanish Central: Translation of arctic

Nglish: Translation of arctic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arctic for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about arctic

Comments on arctic

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to fake an opponent out of position

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