of or relating to the North or South Pole.
of or relating to the of any sphere, a magnet, an electric cell, etc.
opposite in character or action:
The two have personalities that are polar.
capable of ionizing, as NaCl, HCl, or NaOH; electrolytic; .
central; pivotal:
the polar provision of the treaty.
analogous to the polestar as a guide; guiding:
a polar precept.
Contemporary Examples

Oldman: They are sort of polar opposites, Haydon and Smiley.
‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’: Oscar Nominees Gary Oldman and Peter Straughan Lorenza Muñoz February 14, 2012

Perhaps unsurprisingly, his mettle in polar extremes far outstrips his writing ability.
Polar Explorer vs. Reality TV Crew: Tim Jarvis in the Footsteps of Shackleton Darrell Hartman January 11, 2014

Trafalgar Square was chilly today, good preparation for Prince Harry’s polar trek.
Harry Prepares For Polar Trek With Media Launch of Expedition In London Tom Sykes November 13, 2013

Santa Claus is drowning in the cold dark water alongside the polar bears.
The Tiger Binge Tina Brown December 15, 2009

A gender divide existed at the polar opposite end of the social spectrum as well.
The Struggles of Benjamin Franklin’s Sister Jane Annette Gordon-Reed November 20, 2013

Historical Examples

I knew then that woman’s heritage of sorrow was mine, and that my heart followed you into polar night.
A Speckled Bird Augusta J. Evans Wilson

polar ice would have been thawed by this reopening of communication.
Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Large temperature ranges are endured without danger in the polar winter when the air is dry.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 5 Various

It was a domed city in the polar regions, where nobody ever had to go outdoors.
Pariah Planet Murray Leinster

This slow southward extension of the polar ice-sheet upon the east of Greenland seems still to be going on at the present day.
The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) John Fiske.

situated at or near, coming from, or relating to either of the earth’s poles or the area inside the Arctic or Antarctic Circles: polar regions
having or relating to a pole or poles
pivotal or guiding in the manner of the Pole Star
directly opposite, as in tendency or character

Also heteropolar. (of a molecule or compound) being or having a molecule in which there is an uneven distribution of electrons and thus a permanent dipole moment: water has polar molecules
(of a crystal or substance) being or having a crystal that is bound by ionic bonds: sodium chloride forms polar crystals


1550s, from Middle French polaire (16c.) or directly from Medieval Latin polaris “of or pertaining to the poles,” from Latin polus “an end of an axis” (see pole (n.2)). Meaning “directly opposite in character or tendency” is attested from 1832. Polar bear first recorded 1781.

polar po·lar (pō’lər)

Of or relating to a pole.

Having poles. Used of certain nerve cells having one or more processes.


Relating to a pole, such as the pole of a magnet or one of the electrodes of an electrolytic cell.

Relating to the North Pole or the South Pole of Earth, or analogous regions of another planet.

Relating to a molecule or substance that has polar bonds.

Polar Plasma Laboratory


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