‘Artic’ or ‘Arctic’: Which is Correct?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on November 18, 2023

Do you need to know whether 'artic' or 'arctic' is correct? This guide will help!

Here is the short answer, in case you are in a rush: 

  • 'Artic' is a spelling error that you should avoid using. 
  • 'Arctic' is the correct spelling for the English term that means of or relating to the North Pole. 

So, now you know that 'artic' is a spelling error, and 'arctic' is the correct way to spell the English adjective and noun for something that is in or related to the North Pole. However, there is much more to learn. So, keep reading!

Which is Correct, 'Artic' or 'Arctic?'

When it comes to 'artic' or 'arctic,' only the latter is a correctly spelled English word. 'Artic' is a misspelling. So, you should avoid using it.

  • 'Arctic' is a noun and adjective that means of or related to the North Pole, frigid weather, or snow boots.
  • The 'Arctic' is the second coldest place on earth. It is second to Antarctica.

Many people think of the Arctic as a frozen place with very little life. However, there are many species that call the Arctic home.

Definition of 'Arctic': What Does 'Arctic' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'arctic' is an adjective that means:

  • Suitable for, of, or relating to the North Pole

It can also mean:

  • Frigid or bitterly cold
  • A cold mood or temperament

'Arctic' can also be a noun, which means:

  • Rubber overshoes for the snow or cold weather that cover the ankle and/or lower leg

'Arctic' Phrases

  • Arctic Circle
  • Arctic Winds
  • Arctic Weather
  • Arctic Excursion
  • Arctic Freeze
  • Arctic Sky
  • Arctic Adventure

Synonyms of 'Arctic'

  • Freezing
  • Icy
  • Cold
  • Frigid
  • Chilly
  • Wintery
  • Frosty
  • Brisk
  • Glacial
  • Frozen
  • Cool
  • Nippy
  • Bone-chilling
  • Cool
  • Polar
  • Rigorous
  • Unheated
  • Frosted
  • Subzero
  • Cryogenic
  • Numbing

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Arctic'

Many people confuse the spelling of 'arctic' because of its pronunciation. So, let's learn how to correctly pronounce the term.

Here is a pronunciation guide you can reference. 

  • Use this phonetic spelling to correctly pronounce 'arctic':

ärk-tik or är-tik

As you can see, the term 'arctic' can be pronounced with or without the c. So, people who pronounce it without the often confuse the spelling. Nevertheless, 'arctic' is always the correct spelling.

When and How to Use 'Arctic'

When most people use the term 'arctic' they are referring to the North Pole. However, there are other ways to use the term. So, here are some tips on when and how to use 'arctic':

  • Use 'arctic' when referring to things that are made for the North Pole region.

For example, you could say:

You need an Arctic sleeping bag if you are going camping in subzero temperatures. Otherwise, you could freeze to death while you are sleeping. 

  • Use 'arctic' for the region around the North Pole.

As an example, you might hear someone say:

Very few people have the chance to visit the Arctic. 

  • Use 'arctics' for a pair of overboots for snowy weather that covers your ankles and lower legs.

So, I might say:

If you are going out in this weather, you need to put on a pair of arctics to protect your feet from frostbite. 

  • Use 'arctic' to describe something frigid or freezing weather.

For example, you could say:

Have you been outside today? It feels like an arctic wind blew in. 

Sample Sentences Using 'Arctic'

Now, read these sample sentences using 'arctic.' They will help you remember which is correct between 'artic' or 'arctic' and learn new ways to use the term.


  • We want to take a vacation to the Arctic, but it is expensive, and you must have special equipment.
  • Living in the Arctic is challenging if you are used to a warm climate.
  • We had a lot of snow last night. So, if you want to go for a hike in the mountains this weekend, bring your arctics.
  • I had a report due this week on the difference between the Arctic and Antarctica.
  • John has just received a diagnosis that will prevent us from taking our vacation to the Arctic until next year.
  • If you have ever wanted to see arctic animals interact, you should take a trip to the South Pole.
  • Be sure to bring your Arctic sleeping bag on your trip. Otherwise, you could freeze at night.
  • In the Arctic, you have to wear protective clothing that shields you from the wind and frostbite.
  • Arctic people know how to survive the tough winter, but they are uncomfortable and dangerous for non-natives.
  • If you get hot, push the Arctic blast button to cool the room down faster.
  • People who live in the Arctic use equipment like skis, kayaks, and snowboots to navigate the landscape.
  • Polar bears, arctic foxes, whales, narwhals, walruses, owls, wolverines, and many other animals live in the Arctic. So, it is an incredible place to witness wildlife.
  • What is your favorite Arctic animal? My favorites are the Harp seal and Arctic hare.

Final Review: Which is Correct, 'Artic' or 'Arctic?'

Congratulations! You just finished this lesson. Here is a recap of what you learned about whether 'artic' or 'arctic' is correct: 

  • 'Artic' is a common misspelling of the English term 'arctic.'
  • 'Arctic' is the accurate spelling for the English noun and adjective that means of or related to the North Pole, frigid weather, or snow shoes. 

Remembering the correct spelling of words with alternate pronunciations can be a challenge even after you learn the term. So, if you ever need a reminder of the correct spelling of 'arctic' you can always return to this post to review this lesson.

You can also learn about other frequently misspelled, mispronounced, and misused terms in the confusing words section here. Each guide contains grammar rules, usage tips, definitions, examples, and other information to help you learn and remember the terms the page covers.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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