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 Nearby the spirited rendering of a polar bear and cubs by Inuvialuit sculptor Abraham Anghik Ruben, entitled Time to Play, embodies those intimate moments of joy and patience that unite mothers and young, no matter their species. Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad, Smithsonian Magazine, "Groundbreaking New Center Unveils World’s Largest Collection of Inuit Art," 13 Apr. 2021 The second oldest male polar bear in the United States has died after outliving the median life expectancy for the species by more than 10 years. Jon Haworth, ABC News, "1 of America's oldest polar bears dies after outliving average life expectancy by 10 years," 28 Mar. 2021 The polar bear also became a symbol of the conquest of the North Pole by American explorers in 1909. Anne Collins Goodyear, The Conversation, "Polar bears have captivated artists’ imaginations for centuries, but what they’ve symbolized has changed over time," 26 Feb. 2021 Some indoor and high-touch areas remain closed — and sadly, Nora the polar bear remains out of public view for now. oregonlive, "Spring has arrived; here’s how to celebrate in Oregon," 20 Mar. 2021 The polar bear will always be a loving reminder to all of us of his unending kindness, love and generosity. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "D.C.’s Lost Year: How the pandemic upended lives and businesses across a region," 16 Mar. 2021 In the 1970s and 1980s, polar bear science and climate science began to converge. Katherine Cusumano, Outside Online, "How Polar Bears Became Avatars for the Climate Crisis," 28 Mar. 2021 And in their real world, millions of young people are watching a polar bear struggle to hold on to rapidly melting ice. Emma Pattee, Wired, "Meet the Climate Change Activists of TikTok," 11 Mar. 2021 More than 100 days in, mama polar bear Suka and her twin cubs are thriving at Detroit Zoo. Minnah Arshad, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Zoo's polar bear mom, twin cubs thriving, ready for public debut soon," 5 Mar. 2021

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

Time Traveler for polar bear

Time Traveler

The first known use of polar bear was in 1769

See more words from the same year

Statistics for polar bear

Last Updated

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Polar bear.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polar%20bear. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on polar bear

Nglish: Translation of polar bear for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about polar bear

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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