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

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 This warm polar vortex completely reversed any cooling that occurred before. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 11 Apr. 2022 The political strategy of Commonwealth Conservatives appears just as mysterious as who is behind the group, as Maddox and Heavrin are regarded as ideological polar opposites within the Republican caucus. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, 3 May 2022 The two leaders are in many ways polar opposites in their personalities and management styles. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 28 Apr. 2022 The ability for polar bears to survive in coming decades is becoming more uncertain as global warming continues to melt the Arctic at unprecedented rates, experts warn. ABC News, 22 Apr. 2022 But with climate change diminishing sea ice, polar bears are spending more time on land. Andrew Chapman, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Apr. 2022 Beyond experiencing glaciers, mountains, constantly shifting ice packs, polar bears and reindeer, other off-ship pursuits include sea kayaking, snowshoeing and hiking. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 16 Apr. 2022 Like polar bears or any species in peril, corals are simply an indicator, Vaughan says. Rowan Moore Gerety, Wired, 5 Apr. 2022 Solitary polar bears perching on isolated ice caps. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And by the late 1970s, polar-orbiting satellites began gathering data as well. New York Times, 13 Dec. 2021 The median life expectancy for a polar in human care is 23.4 years, according to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Theresa Waldrop, CNN, 25 Sep. 2021 But her relentlessly pragmatic approach to politics is the polar opposite of, say, the Bernie Sanders approach. Michelle Goldberg, New York Times, 5 May 2020 The rainforest environment is all the more remarkable, the researchers said, considering that the region annually experiences a four-month polar night when there is no sunlight to nurture plant life. NBC News, 2 Apr. 2020 Even millions of years ago, the South Pole endured what's known as a four-month polar night when no sunlight can be seen. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 1 Apr. 2020 Herschel Island is home to moose, musk oxen and caribou; the site is one of the few places where black, polar and grizzly bears share the same habitat, per Smithsonian magazine. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Mar. 2020 At-home polar plunges do come at a far cheaper cost, though; depending on the area, entering a cryotherapy chamber could cost you about $75 a pop. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, 17 Jan. 2019 His polar opposite, meanwhile, was the pair of bluestockings to his left. Nicholas M. Gallagher, National Review, 21 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About polar

Dictionary Entries Near polar



polar air

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Statistics for polar

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Polar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polar. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for polar


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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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