clambered; clambering ˈklam-b(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce clamber (audio)

intransitive verb

: to climb awkwardly or with effort especially by using both the hands and the feet
We clambered over the rocks.
They clambered up the hill.
ˈklam-bər-ər How to pronounce clamber (audio)

Examples of clamber in a Sentence

The children clambered over the rocks. We clambered up the steep hill.
Recent Examples on the Web Teenagers clambered onto pickup trucks and garden ledges for better vantage points. Faith E. Pinho, Los Angeles Times, 18 Sep. 2023 On Christmas Island, red crabs clamber over a steel span during their beachward migrations; in Kenya, elephants lumber beneath highways and railroads via passages as tall as two-​story houses. Ben Goldfarb, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Sep. 2023 On game nights, the park, Square Léon, is buzzing with older men crowded around checker tables, little kids clambering up playground equipment and older women in West African dresses selling bags of homemade doughnuts and slushy ginger drinks that both tickle and soothe the throat. Catherine Porter James Hill, New York Times, 25 July 2023 Indeed, his partner, Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who clambered onto the back of the speeding limousine in a futile effort to save Kennedy, discouraged Landis from speaking out. Peter Baker,, 10 Sep. 2023 Indeed, his partner, Clint Hill, the legendary Secret Service agent who clambered onto the back of the speeding limousine in a futile effort to save Kennedy, discouraged Mr. Landis from speaking out. Peter Baker, New York Times, 9 Sep. 2023 Despite that, the Telluride cockpit sits low enough that most folks can settle into the car rather than clambering up and in. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 8 Sep. 2023 Men swarmed Martyrs Square, taking selfies and clambering onto a monument. Lawrence Richard, Fox News, 16 Aug. 2023 The then-candidate had to clamber over a concrete barrier off the freeway and enter the convention site through a back door because protesters overwhelmed police in riot gear at the Burlingame hotel where the convention was taking place. Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clamber.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English clambren; akin to Old English climban to climb

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of clamber was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near clamber

Cite this Entry

“Clamber.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


clam·​ber ˈklam-bər How to pronounce clamber (audio)
clambered; clambering -b(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce clamber (audio)
: to climb awkwardly

More from Merriam-Webster on clamber

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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