late 14c., antartyk "opposite to the north pole" (adj.), also (with capital A-) "region around the South pole" (n.), from Old French antartique, from Medieval Latin antarcticus, from Greek antarktikos "opposite the north," from anti- "opposite" (see anti-) + arktikos "arctic" (see arctic). The first -c- ceased to be pronounced in Medieval Latin and was dropped in Old French. Modern English restores it in spelling from 17c. As a noun, "regions around the South Pole," from c. 1400.