polar bear


Definition of polar bear 

: a large creamy-white carnivorous bear (Ursus maritimus synonym Thalarctos maritimus) that inhabits arctic regions

Illustration of polar bear

Illustration of polar bear

Examples of polar bear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Gus, a polar bear at the Central Park Zoo, swam ceaselessly. David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 The rings were designed in part by Thorns captain Christine Sinclair, who insisted on the inclusion of a polar bear on the ring. Jamie Goldberg, OregonLive.com, "Portland Thorns distribute championship rings in private ceremony," 24 May 2018 Most spectacular is the city’s newest arrival: a mysterious woman who shows up riding an orca and accompanied by a huge polar bear — and who seems to have some spectacular fighting skills of her own. Gary K. Wolfe, chicagotribune.com, "With 'Blackfish City,' Sam J. Miller makes impressive sci-fi debut, plus more reviews," 24 Apr. 2018 But to hear climate denialists tell it, polar bears are doing just fine. Author: Erica Goode, Anchorage Daily News, "Climate skeptics say polar bears are fine. Scientists beg to differ.," 10 Apr. 2018 In 2003, the rudder of the USS Connecticut was chewed by a polar bear while it was surfaced. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How the Navy Punches a Nuclear Sub Through Arctic Ice," 5 Apr. 2018 Melting sea ice means more for whales and polar bears than simply habitat loss. Frankie Schembri, Science | AAAS, "Narwhals, walruses are most at risk from booming Arctic ship traffic," 3 July 2018 Remember that animal behaviorist who was brought in to work with Gus, the Central Park Zoo polar bear, at a cost of $25,000? David Scharfenberg, BostonGlobe.com, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 Melting ice has made polar bears the poster animal of climate change. Washington Post, "Looking for signs of global warming? It’s all around you," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'polar bear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of polar bear

1769, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about polar bear

Share polar bear

Statistics for polar bear

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for polar bear

The first known use of polar bear was in 1769

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for polar bear

polar bear


English Language Learners Definition of polar bear

: a large white bear that lives near the North Pole

polar bear


Kids Definition of polar bear

: a large creamy-white bear of arctic regions

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on polar bear

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


a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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