Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
late 14c., artik, from Old French artique, from Medieval Latin articus, from Latin arcticus, from Greek arktikos "of the north," literally "of the (constellation) Bear," from arktos "bear; Ursa Major; the region of the north," the Bear being a northerly constellation. From *rkto-, the usual Indo-European base for "bear" (cf. Avestan aresho, Armenian arj, Albanian ari, Latin ursus, Welsh arth); see bear (n.) for why the name changed in Germanic. The -c- was restored from 1550s. As a noun, "the Arctic regions," from 1560s.
Note: The weather of the Arctic is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers.
Note: The Arctic has been the object of much exploration by air, land, and sea. The shortest distance by plane between continents in the Northern Hemisphere is often over the Arctic.