po·​lar | \ ˈpō-lər How to pronounce polar (audio) \

Definition of polar

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of or relating to a geographic pole or the region around it
b : coming from or having the characteristics of such a region
c(1) : passing over a celestial body's north and south poles a satellite in a polar orbit
(2) : traveling in a polar orbit a polar satellite
2 : of or relating to one or more poles (as of a magnet)
3 : serving as a guide a polar principle a polar theory
4 : diametrically opposite polar positions on the issue
5 : exhibiting polarity especially : having a dipole or characterized by molecules having dipoles a polar solvent
6 : resembling a pole or axis around which all else revolves : pivotal polar events
7 : of, relating to, or expressed in polar coordinates polar equations also : of or relating to a polar coordinate system



Definition of polar (Entry 2 of 2)

: a straight line related to a point specifically : the straight line joining the points of contact of the tangents from a point exterior to a conic section

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Synonyms & Antonyms for polar

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of polar in a Sentence

Adjective They took polar positions on the issue. She and I are good friends even though we're polar opposites.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Today, modern research budgets and a network of polar research stations have made Antarctica more accessible. Eli Kintisch, Science | AAAS, "Why did nearly a million king penguins vanish without a trace?," 19 Mar. 2020 Detailed in the journal Science, evidence of lunar polar water ice was recorded by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Fox News, "5 interesting facts about the moon," 16 Mar. 2020 These sporadic strong polar vortex patterns are most likely part of a natural cycle. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "Warmest winter on record gives way to extra-early signs of spring," 14 Mar. 2020 The base 50 miles from the mainland across a seemingly endless expanse of polar white. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Watch Russia Bombers Fly Over U.S. Submarines During Arctic Exercise," 12 Mar. 2020 The Arctic wolf, also known as the white or polar wolf, is a subspecies of the gray wolf. Ralph P. Stuart, Outdoor Life, "13 Amazing Animal Mounts," 6 Mar. 2020 Her father operated an outfitting shop that sold supplies to polar explorers and other adventurers. Matt Schudel, BostonGlobe.com, "Zara Steiner, distinguished scholar of diplomatic history, at 91," 18 Feb. 2020 Warming is expected to push the polar jet stream in the Northern Hemisphere farther north. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, "Why does the weather stall? New theories explain enigmatic ‘blocks’ in the jet stream," 5 Mar. 2020 After getting stuck in the ice on a polar expedition in the late 1800s, the ship remained trapped for two years. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "Writer and adventurer Hampton Sides to headline Highland Park Literary Fest," 7 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun His polar opposite, meanwhile, was the pair of bluestockings to his left. Nicholas M. Gallagher, National Review, "Figaro in Kentucky," 21 Mar. 2020 Sir Keir is the polar opposite of the charismatic populists who bestride much of the world. The Economist, "Bagehot Keir Starmer, a serious Labour man," 29 Feb. 2020 But then there's Lauren Zima, who posted what sounded like a polar opposite spoiler. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Two Potentially Major Bachelor Spoilers Were Posted & Deleted Last Night," 25 Feb. 2020 Even if our polar ice stays frozen, few of us will ever be able to travel to the bottom of the planet to hear this otherworldly wishing well in real life. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Try listening to Beatrice Dillon inside and outside your head," 26 Feb. 2020 The drug, which can be snorted, smoked, injected and even comes in tablet form to be swallowed, is the polar opposite of opioids. Terry Demio, Cincinnati.com, "What meth does to your body and why it makes people so manic," 13 Feb. 2020 Other Vulcan Snow Park activities include a family fun day on Jan. 26, when there will be a snow treasure hunt, firetruck rides, barstool ski races and daytime and nighttime black light polar plunges. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "East Coast reporters said Minnesota is uninhabitable in winter. The St. Paul Winter Carnival's been proving them wrong for 134 years.," 17 Jan. 2020 There was no evidence of anyone in the garage and the woman was taken to the hospital for anxiety and bi-polar disorders. cleveland.com, "Woman arrested for OVI while driving children to trampoline park: Highland Heights Police Blotter," 31 July 2019 After the Grinnell expeditions in the 1850s, Americans had continued their polar exploration. National Geographic, "Arctic obsession drove explorers to seek the North Pole," 24 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polar.' 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 polar


1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1848, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for polar


New Latin polaris, from Latin polus pole

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Time Traveler for polar

Time Traveler

The first known use of polar was in 1556

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Statistics for polar

Last Updated

26 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Polar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polar. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for polar


How to pronounce polar (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of polar

: of or relating to the North or South Pole or the region around it
: completely different or opposite
technical : relating to one or both of the poles of a magnet


po·​lar | \ ˈpō-lər How to pronounce polar (audio) \

Kids Definition of polar

1 : of or relating to the north pole or south pole or nearby regions polar ice caps
2 : coming from or being like a polar region polar cold
3 : of or relating to a pole of a magnet


po·​lar | \ ˈpō-lər How to pronounce polar (audio) \

Medical Definition of polar

1 : of or relating to one or more poles (as of a spherical body)
2 : exhibiting polarity especially : having a dipole or characterized by molecules having dipoles a polar solvent
3 : being at opposite ends of a spectrum of symptoms or manifestations polar types of leprosy

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More from Merriam-Webster on polar

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for polar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with polar

Spanish Central: Translation of polar

Nglish: Translation of polar for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of polar for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polar

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