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Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does polar mean? 

POLAR (adjective)
  The adjective POLAR has 6 senses:

1. having a pair of equal and opposite charges
2. characterized by opposite extremes; completely opposed
3. located at or near or coming from the earth's poles
4. of or existing at or near a geographical pole or within the Arctic or Antarctic Circles
5. extremely cold
6. being of crucial importance

  Familiarity information: POLAR used as an adjective is common.

 Dictionary entry details 

POLAR (adjective)

Sense 1polar [BACK TO TOP]


Having a pair of equal and opposite charges


charged (of a particle or body or system; having a net amount of positive or negative electric charge)

Sense 2polar [BACK TO TOP]


Characterized by opposite extremes; completely opposed


polar; diametrical; diametric; opposite

Context examples:

in diametric contradiction to his claims / diametrical (or opposite) points of view / opposite meanings / extreme and indefensible polar positions


different (unlike in nature or quality or form or degree)

Sense 3polar [BACK TO TOP]


Located at or near or coming from the earth's poles

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)

Context examples:

polar diameter / polar zone / a polar air mass / Antarctica is the only polar continent


pole (one of two antipodal points where the Earth's axis of rotation intersects the Earth's surface)

Sense 4polar [BACK TO TOP]


Of or existing at or near a geographical pole or within the Arctic or Antarctic Circles

Context example:

polar regions


circumpolar (located or found throughout a polar region)

Arctic; north-polar (at or near the north pole)

Antarctic; south-polar (at or near the south pole)


equatorial (of or existing at or near the geographic equator)

Sense 5polar [BACK TO TOP]


Extremely cold


gelid; icy; frigid; glacial; arctic; polar

Context examples:

an arctic climate / a frigid day / gelid waters of the North Atlantic / glacial winds / icy hands / polar weather


cold (used of physical coldness; having a low or inadequate temperature or feeling a sensation of coldness or having been made cold by e.g. ice or refrigeration)

Sense 6polar [BACK TO TOP]


Being of crucial importance


pivotal; polar

Context examples:

a pivotal event / Its pivotal location has also exposed it to periodic invasions / the polar events of this study / a polar principal


crucial; important (of extreme importance; vital to the resolution of a crisis)

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