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 \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē 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

Brian Brettschneider, An arctic climate researcher, noted on Twitter that on August 14, Anchorage’s atmosphere was more humid than that of Corpus Christi, Texas. Author: Matthew Cappucci, Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "More freak weather comes to Alaska, which has had an unprecedented summer," 17 Aug. 2019 The new arctic ecosystem essentially doubles the Monster Hunter world and is situated in a new locale, the Hoarfrost Region. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Here are the hottest video games to test drive at Comic-Con," 18 July 2019 In fact, one feedback loop is burning this very moment: an increasingly dry arctic means an unprecedented number of fires are blazing there, releasing more carbon into the atmosphere, which further heats the planet and melts more ice. Wired, "Jakarta’s Giant Sea Wall Is Useless if the City Keeps Sinking," 31 July 2019 But the number that proved the Bolts’ undoing that season was -9, the temperature in their AFC championship loss in arctic Cincinnati. 14. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "The Loop Fantasy Football Flashback: Greatest Quarterbacks of the Century," 26 July 2019 Voas imagined a nationwide competition that could include deep-sea divers, arctic explorers or racecar drivers. Emily Ludolph, New York Times, "Ed Dwight Was Set to Be the First Black Astronaut. Here’s Why That Never Happened.," 16 July 2019 The findings, published this summer in the journal Nature, provided insights into the earliest human voyage through arctic Siberia during the last Ice Age. Jordan Wilkerson, Dallas News, "At 31,000 years old, two children's teeth and their ancient DNA unravel mystery of human migration," 9 July 2019 The animals, which have thick fur to survive cold environments and live to about age 4, eat fish, marine birds and small arctic rodents called lemmings. Washington Post, "Arctic fox walked from Norway to Canada seeking a new home," 3 July 2019 The fashion house has recreated everything from an arctic wonderland with a real iceberg to a forest full of trees and leaves. Kristen Bateman, Allure, "Chanel's Minimal Ponytails Are Summer's Easiest Hairstyle," 2 July 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

22 Aug 2019

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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 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

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


not constant or steady

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