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

Adjective The group is involved in Arctic exploration. the arctic air of deep winter
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Portable North Pole goes one step further and, like an arctic Cameo, lets Santa record a personalized video message for your kids. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "The Handy 'Capture the Magic' App Lets You Capture a Photo of Santa Next to Your Tree," 30 Oct. 2020 A week later, Hansen is still reeling from his own arctic blast. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "Why would Dale Hansen say such a thing?," 30 Oct. 2020 Allan brings readers onboard the fleet of ships that surged up the West Coast and into northern and arctic waters. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "New work explores history of a fruitless, little-known gold rush in the Northwest Arctic," 25 Oct. 2020 The winds are associated with the blast of arctic air bringing the snow to the nation's midsection. Brandon Noriega, Fox News, "Major winter storm bringing snow, freezing rain into Plains as California faces extreme fire risk," 26 Oct. 2020 These include the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, which influence the number and intensity of arctic air masses that overspread the central and eastern U.S. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Winter should be mostly mild with few blizzards, but much of US could see drought, forecasters say," 16 Oct. 2020 The Fly rested in Pence’s arctic coiffure for approximately two minutes, respecting moderator Susan Page’s time limit. Washington Post, "Life imitates art, and so a fly landed on Mike Pence’s head," 8 Oct. 2020 Arktika is part of Moscow’s emerging policy of exploiting a warming arctic region—and protecting its stake in the region from competitors. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia’s Nuclear-Powered Icebreaker Is a Step Toward Military Domination," 24 Sep. 2020 At 8 am on an arctic-cold morning, voters in Fulton began shuffling into their squat town hall. Benjamin Wofford, Wired, "A Texas County Clerk’s Bold Crusade to Transform How We Vote," 15 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Researchers are increasingly turning to nature -- including the fjords of the Norwegian arctic, an ancient medieval natural remedy and the dirt under your feet -- for new bacteria to become antibiotics. Samantha Bresnahan, CNN, "Snake venom is a boon in search for life-saving drugs," 9 Nov. 2020 Models hint at another messy mix on Saturday, but nothing arctic is looming on the horizon. Star Tribune, "A Reality Check This Week As Colder Air Moves Back In (With Snow Too!)," 8 Nov. 2020 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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Time Traveler for arctic

Time Traveler

The first known use of arctic was circa 1540

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Statistics for arctic

Last Updated

13 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arctic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for arctic


How to pronounce arctic (audio) How to pronounce arctic (audio)

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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