a. Of or relating to a pole.
b. Measured from or referred to a pole: polar distance; polar diameter.
2. Relating to, connected with, or located near the North Pole or South Pole.
a. Passing over a planet's north and south poles: a polar orbit.
b. Traveling in an orbit that passes over a planet's north and south poles.
4. Serving as a guide, as a polestar or a pole of the earth.
5. Occupying or characterized by opposite extremes: "In creative territory [they] make a strange yet ineluctable couple, more complementary, even polar, than twin-like" (Josh Rubins).
6. Central or pivotal.
a. Chemistry Relating to or characterized by a dipole: a polar molecule.
b. Ionizing when dissolved or fused: polar bonds or linkages.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.