1

hyperborean

noun hy·per·bo·re·an \ ˌhī-pər-ˈbȯr-ē-ən , -(ˌ)pər-bə-ˈrē-ən \

Definition of hyperborean

1 often capitalized : a member of a people held by the ancient Greeks to live beyond the north wind in a region of perpetual sunshine
2 : an inhabitant of a cool northern climate

hyperborean was our Word of the Day on 06/27/2011. Hear the podcast!

Origin and Etymology of hyperborean

Latin Hyperborei (plural), from Greek Hyperboreoi, from hyper- + Boreas


2

hyperborean

adjective

Definition of hyperborean

1 : of or relating to an extreme northern region : frozen
2 : of or relating to any of the arctic peoples

hyperborean Has Roots in Greek Mythology

In ancient Greek mythology, the Hyperboreoi were a people who lived in a northern paradise of perpetual sunshine beyond the reaches of the god of the north wind. Their name located them within the Greek world; it combined the prefix hyper-, meaning "above," and Boreas, the Greek name for the north wind. When hyperborean first appeared in our language in the 15th century, it named those legendary folk. By the late 1500s, though, the word was being used more generally for anything relating to the far north or the people who lived there.

First Known Use of hyperborean

1591



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

allowing a liquid or gas to pass through

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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