Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle

noun
an imaginary line drawn parallel to the equator, at 23°28prime; S of the North Pole: between the North Frigid Zone and the North Temperate Zone.
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World English Dictionary
Arctic Circle
 
n
the imaginary circle round the earth, parallel to the equator, at latitude 66° 32′ N; it marks the northernmost point at which the sun appears above the level of the horizon on the winter solstice

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Arctic Circle
1550s, in ref. to a celestial circle, a line around the sky which, in any location, bounds the stars which are ever-visible from that latitude (in the Northern Hemisphere, this is focused on the celestial north pole); the concept goes back to the ancient Greeks, for whom this set of constellations
included most prominently the two bears (arktoi), hence the name for the circle (see Arctic). Of Earth, the circle 66 degrees 32 minutes north of the equator, marking the southern extremity of the polar day, it is recorded from 1620s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Arctic Circle   (ärk'tĭk)  Pronunciation Key 
The parallel of latitude approximately 66°33' north. It forms the boundary between the North Temperate and North Frigid zones.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Arctic Circle definition


Imaginary circle around the Earth about three-quarters of the way from the equator to the North Pole. North of this line is the “Land of the Midnight Sun,” where the sun never sets on the summer solstice.

Note: The Arctic Circle corresponds to the Antarctic Circle in the Southern Hemisphere.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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