anticlimax

noun
an·​ti·​cli·​max | \ -ˈklī-ˌmaks 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

That could make the new tech board an anticlimax, just like Shenzhen’s ChiNext board and Beijing’s New Third Board, an over-the-counter market. Shen Hong, WSJ, "China Counters Selloff by Cutting Markets Some Slack," 24 Jan. 2019 This was an anticlimax that wanted to be an epic—the crowd in Death Valley did its best to rowdy it up, with the on-field noise meter at one point registering a jackhammer-like 110 decibels. Jason Gay, WSJ, "All Hail Our Alabama Football Overlords," 4 Nov. 2018 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

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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Time Traveler for anticlimax

The first known use of anticlimax was in 1696

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More Definitions for anticlimax

anticlimax

noun

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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