from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • A continent lying chiefly within the Antarctic Circle and asymmetrically centered on the South Pole. Some 95 percent of Antarctica is covered by an icecap averaging 1.6 km (1 mi) in thickness. The region was first explored in the early 1800s, and although there are no permanent settlements, many countries have made territorial claims. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959, signed by 12 nations, prohibited military operations on the continent and provided for the interchange of scientific data.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun The southernmost continent, south of the Southern Ocean, containing the South Pole.
  • proper noun The wider South Polar region comprising the Antarctic Continent as well as the adjacent Antarctic and Subantarctic islands, and the Southern Ocean waters situated south of the Antarctic Convergence.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an extremely cold continent at the south pole almost entirely below the Antarctic Circle; covered by an ice cap up to 13,000 feet deep


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From New Latin Antarctica, from Ancient Greek ἀνταρκτικός (antarktikos), from ἀντ- (ant-, "ant-, against, opposed") + ἀρκτικός (arktikos, "Arctic"), from Ancient Greek ἄρκτος (arktos, "bear")



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  • When I pronounce this word, my instinct is to leave out the C, and say"ant-AR-ti-cuh". But I know that that's not correct, so I have a little mental reminder that tells me to insert the C. Unfortunately, though, I tend to overcorrect and say "anct-ARC-ti-cuh", with an extra C before the first T.

    Interestingly, the C that gives me so much trouble is a relatively recent addition. I figure that some priggish linguist in the 17th century decided that the word had to conform to its ancient Greek roots, and now we're stuck with the C. It's a shame, really. "Antartica" would be much more simple to pronounce and spell.

    July 8, 2012

  • That's fun, pterodactyl--I just caught myself saying it as "an-ar-di-ca."

    July 9, 2012

  • Anardica shoubbe prerzed as nukular-free connent.

    July 10, 2012

  • What's the best way to preserve "Ossie" marsupials?

    July 10, 2012

  • If this was the rough and tumble old days I'd be waiting for sionnach to chime in with formaldehyde.

    July 10, 2012

  • Nonsense. You don't need formaldehyde to cook up a big ol' jar of marsupial preserves.

    July 11, 2012

  • Uh-oh. Is bilby in a jam?

    July 11, 2012