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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Created in collaboration with the Finnish autonomous vehicle company Sensible 4, the Gacha is an all-weather shuttle bus purpose-designed for arctic weather. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Muji just designed an autonomous shuttle bus," 2 Nov. 2018 Scientists believe that this will usher in a new era for arctic ice, where almost none of it lasts a full year without melting. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The Arctic's Most Resilient Sea Ice Is Breaking Up," 21 Aug. 2018 My mom bought covers in white, cream, and arctic blue and uses them interchangeably throughout the house, but this particular collection also comes in gray, navy, chocolate brown, sage, and taupe — among other colors. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "I Am Obsessed With This $25 Duvet Cover From Amazon," 8 Aug. 2018 There's this common perception of the arctic sea ice as flat and barren. Author: Karin Brulliard, Anchorage Daily News, "How to strap a bodycam to a polar bear," 12 Feb. 2018 The environment of Alaska's famed arctic tundra, including various grasses, berries and flowers, are reliant on permafrost. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Melting Permafrost Poses a Huge Danger to Artic Infrastructure," 11 Dec. 2018 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about arctic

Statistics for arctic

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for arctic

The first known use of arctic was circa 1540

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to settle judicially or to act as judge

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!