tropic

noun
trop·​ic | \ ˈträ-pik How to pronounce tropic (audio) \

Definition of tropic

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : either of the two parallels of terrestrial latitude at a distance of about 23¹/₂ degrees north or south of the equator where the sun is directly overhead when it reaches its most northerly or southerly point in the sky — compare tropic of cancer, tropic of capricorn
2 tropics or Tropics plural : the region lying between the tropics

Definition of tropic (Entry 2 of 4)

: of, relating to, or occurring in the tropics
tro·​pic | \ ˈtrō-pik How to pronounce tropic (audio) \

Definition of tropic (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of tropism or of a tropism
2 of a hormone : influencing the activity of a specified gland

Definition of -tropic (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : turning, changing, or tending to turn or change in a (specified) manner or in response to a (specified) stimulus geotropic
2 : attracted to or acting upon (something specified) neurotropic

Examples of tropic in a Sentence

Noun a vacation in the tropics

First Known Use of tropic

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (1)

1624, in the meaning defined above

Adjective (2)

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tropic

Noun

Middle English tropik, borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French tropike, tropique, borrowed from Late Latin tropicus (short for tropicus circulus), noun derivative of Latin tropicus "of a solstice or equinox," borrowed from Greek tropikós, from tropḗ "turn, change, solstitial point" (noun derivative from the base of trépein "to turn") + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at trope

Adjective (1)

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French tropike, tropique "of the sun's change of direction at the solstice, of either of the two tropics," borrowed from Latin tropicus "of a solstice or equinox" — more at tropic entry 1

Adjective (2)

generalization of -tropic, after German tropisch

Adjective combining form

French -tropique, from Greek -tropos -tropous

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Time Traveler for tropic

Time Traveler

The first known use of tropic was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tropic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tropic. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for tropic

tropic

noun
How to pronounce -tropic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of tropic

: either one of the two imaginary lines that circle the Earth to the north and south of the equator
: the part of the world that is near the equator where the weather is very warm

tropic

noun
trop·​ic | \ ˈträ-pik How to pronounce tropic (audio) \

Kids Definition of tropic

1 : either of two parallels of the earth's latitude of which one is about 23¹/₂ degrees north of the equator and the other about 23¹/₂ degrees south of the equator
2 tropics plural often capitalized : the region lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn

tropic

adjective
tro·​pic | \ ˈtrō-pik How to pronounce tropic (audio) \

Medical Definition of tropic

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of tropism or of a tropism
2 of a hormone : influencing the activity of a specified gland

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