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 arctic (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 Snow squalls moved through portions of Connecticut Monday evening following an arctic front., "Powerful winds impacted state," 2 Mar. 2021 The weather is hitting the auto industry hard as various carmakers must stop production due to arctic temperatures, snow and ice that are making travel dangerous for workers and roads impassible for suppliers to deliver parts. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM stops production at highly profitable pickup plant in Fort Wayne, 3 others," 17 Feb. 2021 On Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service predicts an arctic front will move into the region, delivering a mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet. Taylor Pettaway, Liz Hardaway, San Antonio Express-News, "'Imminent threat:' San Antonio braces for rain, sleet, snow - and extreme cold," 12 Feb. 2021 In 1899, an arctic outbreak led to subzero temperatures in Tallahassee, Florida. Philip Kiefer, Popular Science, "Explaining this week’s deadly US cold snap," 24 Feb. 2021 For many, especially folks who live in the South, the arctic outbreak that has gripped the nation's heartland for the past week is the kind of cold that only happens once in a century. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Climate change and record cold: What's behind the arctic extremes in Texas," 20 Feb. 2021 Exactly what role climate change played in bringing frigid arctic air to the country's midsection is a matter of scientific debate. Drew Kann, CNN, "Texas' dangerous week in the dark is a wake-up call for the country's infrastructure," 20 Feb. 2021 In the past week, about 800 daily records for cold temperatures have been set in the U.S. as arctic air pushes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Frozen wind turbines, soaring spot electricity prices: How the Artic freeze is roiling Texas’ energy market," 15 Feb. 2021 That arctic air could cause any moisture left on roads to freeze late tonight and into Tuesday morning. Leigh Morgan, al, "Watch out for black ice tonight on roads across Alabama," 15 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The service’s operations are also all over the map — freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea, security operations in the Middle East to the arctic and all points in between. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Coast Guard service chief on hand as cutter unloads 7,500 pounds of seized drugs," 11 Mar. 2021 The arctic is warming nearly 3 times faster than the rest of the planet, destabilizing the jet stream, the river of fast-flowing air that swirls around the North Pole. Star Tribune, "Wind Chill Advisory This Weekend With Frigid Weather Through Next Week," 5 Feb. 2021 There was also a span of record-setting arctic-like days. Alexis Oatman, cleveland, "OH weather: Remember Cleveland’s past polar vortexes," 18 Jan. 2021 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

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Arctic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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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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