Antarctica

Antarctica

[ant-ahrk-ti-kuh, -ahr-ti-]
noun
the continent surrounding the South Pole: almost entirely covered by an ice sheet. About 5,000,000 sq. mi. (12,950,000 sq. km).
Also called Antarctic Continent.
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World English Dictionary
Antarctica (æntˈɑːktɪkə)
 
n
a continent around the South Pole: consists of an ice-covered plateau, 1800--3000 m (6000 ft to 10 000 ft) above sea level, and mountain ranges rising to 4500 m (15 000 ft) with some volcanic peaks; average temperatures all below freezing and human settlement is confined to research stations. All political claims to the mainland are suspended under the Antarctic Treaty of 1959

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Word Origin & History

Antarctica
continent name attributed to Scot. cartographer John George Bartholomew (1860-1920), who used it on a map published 1887. From Antarctic (q.v.). Hypothetical southern continents had been imagined since antiquity; first sighting of Antarctica by Europeans probably was 1820
(Lazarev and Bellingshausen)
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Antarctica definition


Continent surrounding the South Pole, located almost entirely within the Antarctic Circle. It is covered by an ice cap up to thirteen thousand feet thick.

Note: Antarctica is characterized by extremely low temperatures.
Note: In 1911, Roald Amundsen became the first explorer to reach the South Pole, followed shortly thereafter by Robert Scott.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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