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Thule

[thoo-lee for 1, 2; too-lee for 3] /ˈθu li for 1, 2; ˈtu li for 3/
noun
1.
the ancient Greek and Latin name for an island or region variously identified as one of the Shetland Islands, Iceland, or Norway: supposed to be the most northerly region of the world.
3.
a settlement in NW Greenland: site of U.S. air base.

Thule

[too-lee] /ˈtu li/
adjective
1.
of or pertaining to an Eskimo culture flourishing from a.d. 500–1400, and extending throughout the Arctic from Greenland to Alaska.
Origin
named after Thule, Greenland

ultima Thule

[uhl-tuh-muh thoo-lee; Latin oo l-ti-mah too-le] /ˈʌl tə mə ˈθu li; Latin ˈʊl tɪˌmɑ ˈtu lɛ/
noun
1.
(italics) Latin. the highest degree attainable.
2.
the farthest point; the limit of any journey.
3.
the point believed by the ancients to be farthest north.
Also called Thule.
Origin
1655-65; literally, farthest Thule
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Thule

Thule

/ˈθjuːlɪ/
noun
1.
Also called ultima Thule. a region believed by ancient geographers to be the northernmost land in the inhabited world: sometimes thought to have been Iceland, Norway, or one of the Shetland Islands
2.
an Inuit settlement in NW Greenland: a Danish trading post, founded in 1910, and US air force base

ultima Thule

/ˈθjuːlɪ/
noun
1.
another name for Thule
2.
any distant or unknown region
3.
a remote goal or aim
Word Origin
Latin: the most distant Thule
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Thule

northernmost part of the world, Old English, from Latin, from Greek Thyle "land six days' sail north of Britain" (Polybius). Identity is speculative; it came to be used in a transferred sense of "extreme limits of travel."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for Thule

in literature, the furthest possible place in the world. Thule was the northernmost part of the habitable ancient world. (See Thule culture.) References to ultima Thule in modern literature appear in works by Edgar Allan Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the Australian writer Henry Handel Richardson.

Learn more about Thule with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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