an·​ti·​cli·​max | \ ˌan-tē-ˈklī-ˌmaks, ˌan-ˌtī- How to pronounce anticlimax (audio) \

Definition of anticlimax

1 : the usually sudden transition in discourse from a significant idea to a trivial or ludicrous idea also : an instance of this transition
2 : an event, period, or outcome that is strikingly less important or dramatic than expected

Examples of anticlimax in a Sentence

The last chapter of the book was an anticlimax. The movie ended in anticlimax.
Recent Examples on the Web After that, the Best Picture prize was an anticlimax, even with the appearance of Liza Minnelli, who presented the award with Lady Gaga. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 But, as anyone who has given up on a goal that went from enrapturing to anxiety-inducing too fast, or felt the anticlimax of reaching a goal that required a great deal of sacrifice to achieve can attest, this is not an easy balance to strike. Outside Online, 8 Jan. 2021 Certain columnists lamented the men’s 100 as a disappointing anticlimax. Martin Fritz Huber, Outside Online, 10 Aug. 2021 In many ways Dole’s general-election campaign was an anticlimax to the greater dramas of his life. David M. Shribman, Los Angeles Times, 5 Dec. 2021 When the safes finally open like magic industrial machines, the sight of millions of dollars piled inside is actually an anticlimax. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 26 Oct. 2021 Obviously, another book at this time about exactly the same subject would be a sad anticlimax. Ed Vulliamy, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 The fireworks display that followed the performance almost seemed like an anticlimax to such an acoustically thrilling evening. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Aug. 2021 At the World Cup, the team exhilarated; this tournament ended in an anticlimax with counterintuitive soccer. Samindra Kunti, Forbes, 4 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'anticlimax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of anticlimax

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of anticlimax was in 1696

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Last Updated

10 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Anticlimax.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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