\ ˈklif How to pronounce cliff (audio) \

Definition of cliff

: a very steep, vertical, or overhanging face of rock, earth, or ice : precipice

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Other Words from cliff

cliffy \ ˈkli-​fē How to pronounce cliffy (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cliff in a Sentence

Standing at the edge of the cliff, we watched the waves crash on the shore far below. rock climbers scaling steep cliffs
Recent Examples on the Web After leading his country’s economy over a cliff, President Nicolas Maduro has brought it a certain measure of stability. Patricia Laya,, "Maduro Embraces Capitalism and Venezuelan Emigres Are Returning," 11 May 2020 And as states and localities go over the fiscal cliff, the essential workers who handle everything from health care to sanitation to education are being laid off en masse. Jeff Spross, TheWeek, "Shouldn't Congress be considered essential?," 2 May 2020 During the filming of the 1939 movie Jesse James, a stuntman and his horse went over a cliff and fell 70 feet into a river. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "How to Counter Chinese Pressure on Hollywood," 29 Apr. 2020 If nothing gets done to backstop these financial firms, the businesses who originate over 60 percent of all mortgages in the country would speed over a cliff, possibly dragging substantial portions of the financial system down with them. Robin Kaiser-schatzlein, The New Republic, "The “Shadow Banks” Are Back, and Still Too Big to Fail," 27 Apr. 2020 The three people and dog were inside a silver Nissan SUV that drove through a fence at 25th and Dakota streets before going over the cliff, police said. Michael Cabanatuan,, "Second woman dies after SUV drives off cliff in San Francisco," 22 Apr. 2020 The man addressed me over the cliff of his shoulder—talked down to me in the same condescending way Mister Hughes explained polynomials and hypotenuses. Douglas Stuart, The New Yorker, "Found Wanting," 6 Jan. 2020 The ceremony took place on a small cliff in front of Maya’s house, overlooking the Mediterranean. Vogue, "The Bride Designed Her Own Dress for Her Cliffside Wedding in Israel," 18 Nov. 2019 The white villages look over a cliff nearly 1,000 feet tall into the caldera. Timothy O'grady, Condé Nast Traveler, "For the Real Santorini, Visit During Off-Season," 15 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cliff.' 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 cliff

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cliff

Middle English clif, from Old English; akin to Old High German klep cliff, Old Norse klif

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Time Traveler for cliff

Time Traveler

The first known use of cliff was before the 12th century

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Statistics for cliff

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cliff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for cliff


How to pronounce cliff (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cliff

: a high, steep surface of rock, earth, or ice


\ ˈklif How to pronounce cliff (audio) \

Kids Definition of cliff

: a high steep surface of rock

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More from Merriam-Webster on cliff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cliff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cliff

Spanish Central: Translation of cliff

Nglish: Translation of cliff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cliff for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cliff

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