Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • The most northerly region of the habitable world to ancient Greek geographers. Posited as an island north of Britain, it has been variously identified with Iceland, Norway, and the Shetland Islands.
  • A town of northwest Greenland northwest of Cape York. A U.S. naval base was built here during World War II. Population: 652.
  • n. A Native American culture that spread eastward across coastal Arctic regions to eastern Canada and Greenland from its beginnings in the Bering Strait region, flourishing from about 1000 to 1600.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. the ancestors of the Canadian Inuit
  • proper n. the northernmost location of the ancient world

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The name given by ancient geographers to the northernmost part of the habitable world. According to some, this land was Norway, according to others, Iceland, or more probably Mainland, the largest of the Shetland islands; hence, the Latin phrase ultima Thule, farthest Thule.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The name given by Pytheas of Marseilles to a region or island north of Great Britain, the position of which has been for more than two thousand years the subject of investigation and a matter of controversy.

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

  • n. the geographical region believed by ancient geographers to be the northernmost land in the inhabited world
  • n. a town in northwestern Greenland; during World War II a United States naval base was built there

Etymologies

After Thule1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek Θούλη. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • After six days further sailing, he came to lands which he calls Thule, probably the Jutland or Norway of the present day, beyond which he could not pass, for he says, "there was neither land, sea, nor air there."

    Celebrated Travels and Travellers Part I. The Exploration of the World

  • A missile detection device in Thule Greenland reported some time ago an unknown object in the airspace over the Arctic, on further investigation it was found to be the reflection of the station's radar bounced back from the moon.

    The Future of Canadian Defence in the Nuclear Era

  • One should be cautious about the thesis that the name Thule is a serious and conscious reference to a Nordic, Polar connection, in the effort to make a connection with the Hyperborean origins of the Indo-Germans -- since Thule appears in ancient tradition as the sacred center or sacred island in the uttermost North.

    WAR OF PERCEPTION

  • On this occasion, the vague appellation of Thule is applied to England; and the new Varangians were a colony of English and Danes who fled from the yoke of the Norman conqueror.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • After wishing for wings to fly over to his dear country, which was in his view, from what he calls Thule, as being the most western isle of Scotland, except St. Kilda; after describing the pleasures of society, and the miseries of solitude, he at last, with becoming propriety, has recourse to the only sure relief of thinking men, ”

    Life of Johnson

  • Ancient travellers in Scythia and voyagers to "Thule" -- which in

    The Discovery of America Vol. 1 (of 2) with some account of Ancient America and the Spanish Conquest

  • The Inuits living in Greenland today can be traced back to ancestors of the so-called Thule culture, who first arrived around the 13th century and for a time shared the island with the Norsemen, but contacts between the two communities are believed to have been rare or even hostile.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • In the same years, around 1,000AD, when Vikings settled with their farms in South Greenland, such island was colonised by local people likely the ancestors of Inuit people: the so-called Thule culture.

    Unthreaded #21 « Climate Audit

  • At the farm site, there is no indication that conflict with natives, now called the Thule people, precipitated the Norse departure.

    Gore Gored: Monckton replies « Climate Audit

  • Medieval maps used to use the phrase ultima Thule to denote anywhere far enough to lie beyond the "borders of the known world".

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

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