an·​ti·​cli·​max | \-ˈklī-ˌmaks \

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

The first try is often (and rightly) an awkward, anxious, and low-key painful anticlimax. Karley Sciortino, Vogue, "Is There a “Right” Way to Lose Your Virginity?," 19 Oct. 2018 Each episode ends up as an extended joke about how the superhero genre works, with every hideous, terrifying protagonist defeated in a quick overdetermined anticlimax. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "The best superhero stories admit that superheroes are ridiculous," 11 July 2018 Because Justify’s triumph follows the drought-ending Triple Crown of American Pharoah by only three years, the achievement was liable to leave some spectators with a sense of anticlimax. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Triple Crown winner Justify makes it look easy in Belmont victory," 9 June 2018 Photo: Getty The delay marked an anticlimax to a rush of activity in the House. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "House GOP Postpones Vote on Immigration Bill Until Next Week," 21 June 2018 Her announcement was quite an anticlimax, perhaps the biggest in tennis since Roger Federer withdrew with a back injury before the championship match of the ATP World Tour Finals against Novak Djokovic in 2014. Christopher Clarey, New York Times, "Serena Williams Withdraws With Injury Before Facing Sharapova," 4 June 2018 But the book’s anticlimax is the hook upon which the whole thing hangs. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "In On Chesil Beach, a Longing Unfulfilled," 17 May 2018 The story meanders near the end, but the anticlimax can't quite dispel the movie's warm eccentricity. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "The Chicago Film Critics Association takes a break from journalism to present its own slate of films," 3 May 2018 Talk about an anticlimax: On Thursday the Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo 57-42 after Democrats threatened for weeks to torpedo the Secretary of State for no reason other than rank partisanship. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Road Testing the 2019 Resistance," 26 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of anticlimax

1696, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for anticlimax

The first known use of anticlimax was in 1696

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English Language Learners Definition of anticlimax

: something that is much less exciting or dramatic than it was expected to be : a dull or disappointing ending or result

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with anticlimax

Spanish Central: Translation of anticlimax

Nglish: Translation of anticlimax for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about anticlimax

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