arc·​tic | \ˈärk-tik, ˈär-tik \

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, ˈärk-tik \

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 \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ 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

The conversation is, in part, a matter of workplace attire deemed appropriate for men and women: Men can usually don a suit and feel perfectly comfortable in an arctic room. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "If You're Freezing in Your Office Right Now, Cynthia Nixon Can Relate," 29 Aug. 2018 There’s an icy blue arctic world and a nice, quiet lifeless planet with exceedingly low gravity. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "No Man’s Sky travel diary: the final entry," 29 Aug. 2018 This year, the arctic winter was the warmest ever, with temperatures reaching a high of 35 degrees Fahrenheit during the month of February. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Arctic's Most Resilient Sea Ice Is Breaking Up," 21 Aug. 2018 Things started aboard the Summer Bay, where captain Wild Bill was facing harsh winds from an arctic hurricane that threatened to be with the fleet for the rest of the season. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "'Deadliest Catch' Season 14, Episode 18 recap: Crews race against terrible weather to meet deadlines," 15 Aug. 2018 Russia is building bases across the arctic and investing in new equipment for snow fighting. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Meet Russia’s Machine Gun-Toting Snowmobile," 8 May 2018 The changing geopolitical game was on full display in December when Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid al-Falih, braved the Russian arctic cold as President Vladimir Putin's guest of honor at the opening of a giant natural-gas export terminal. Author: Clifford Krauss, Anchorage Daily News, "Lower oil prices force Saudis to widen their circle of friends," 26 Feb. 2018 Blizzard conditions arrived in Cincinnati around 1 a.m. Jan 26 with an arctic airmass pushing in. Sarah Brookbank,, "Here's what made the Great Blizzard of 1978 so devastating," 24 Jan. 2018 Roads are icy, temperatures are frigid and most schools are closed Wednesday (Jan. 17) after an arctic airmass moved through the New Orleans metro area. Carlie Kollath Wells,, "Snow in New Orleans metro: Live updates, road and school closures," 17 Jan. 2018

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

14 Nov 2018

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, 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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Comments on arctic

What made you want to look up arctic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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