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

Much of the country will experience record-low temperatures thanks to a blast of arctic air expected to hit later this week, according to The Weather Channel. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "A Record-Breaking Arctic Blast Is About to Hit the Midwest and Northeast," 8 Nov. 2017 Black bears dominate, numbering 36, and are joined in the drive-through area by goats, Dall sheep, elk, wolves (tundra and arctic), bison (white and American) and bears (junior and adult). Scott Craven, azcentral, "Bearizona: Top things to do at drive-thru wildlife park in Williams," 12 July 2018 Another hurdle for arctic companies is the abbreviated Alaska summer. Anchorage Daily News, "Constructing success with the Drake family," 25 June 2018 Air pressure readings above 31 inches of mercury are rare and generally occur only during intense arctic outbreaks at locations in high latitudes. Tom Skilling,, "Ask Tom: What is the world record for high air pressure?," 21 June 2018 The report — and that 93 percent number — was compiled just before a new study from 80 Antarctic scientists showed that arctic ice melting has tripled in a decade. Alex Harris, miamiherald, "Florida has more to lose with sea rise than anywhere else in the U.S., new study says," 18 June 2018 Each ship will have a 10-person expedition team, made up of experts in marine biology, arctic survival, oceanography, biology, geology, history, and photography. Veronica Stoddart, Condé Nast Traveler, "New Expedition Ships: Small but Mighty Appealing," 14 June 2018 The piece uses recordings of arctic bird songs, but the effect is not gimmicky. Patrick Neas, kansascity, "Violinist Augustin Hadelich joins KC Symphony for an eclectic program," 10 June 2018 Certain breeds are considered heavy shedders, including dogs with arctic breed-type fur (like huskies), retriever coats and shepherd-y pelts, but any kind of dog will shed. Dr. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "Shedding is a normal for dogs; most times no need to be concerned," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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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Phrases Related to arctic

the Arctic Circle

Statistics for arctic

Last Updated

8 Aug 2018

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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