\ 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 cliff (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 Smith's body was found at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff in the Auxier Ridge area of the gorge. Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "University of Kentucky student who died after a fall while hiking has been identified," 5 May 2021 The body of Jerilyn Bessie Nicholson, 27, was found at the base of a cliff in the 35000 block of Eklutna Lake Road on Saturday afternoon, according to police. Anchorage Daily News, "Man accused of evidence tampering in case involving woman found dead near Eklutna Lake Road," 5 May 2021 Julian Andrade died after being beaten, stabbed and thrown off a cliff in Angeles National Forest, authorities have said. NBC News, "Los Angeles D.A. was voted into office on pledge to reform the system, but critics say he's going too far," 24 Apr. 2021 The bodies of two hikers who died in an apparent 100-foot fall from an icy mountain cliff in Maine's Acadia National Park were located and recovered after an air and ground search was launched when they were reported missing by relatives. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, "2 hikers die in apparent 100-foot fall from icy cliff in Acadia National Park: Officials," 21 Mar. 2021 An injured hiker was rescued by helicopter and taken to a hospital Friday after falling down a 50-foot cliff in the Columbia River Gorge. oregonlive, "Injured hiker rescued after falling down 50-foot cliff in Columbia River Gorge," 23 Jan. 2021 The film’s most heartbreaking moment finds her on the edge of a river, standing on a cliff in the pouring rain, crying and begging for a migrating Native American tribe half-visible across the water to take her back to her Kiowa family. Bilge Ebiri, Vulture, "The Gorgeous, Moving News of the World Features Tom Hanks at His Best," 15 Jan. 2021 Somewhere on a single limestone cliff on Moresby Island in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, a thoroughly forgettable moss is in danger of dying out. Sabrina Imbler, Smithsonian Magazine, "Will the Slender-Yoke Moss Be Saved?," 14 Dec. 2020 The pair also skirted their parties' leadership by coming together to negotiate around the potential fiscal cliff in 2013, opting to leave then-Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid out of their talks. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Biden beat Trump but now faces the final boss: Mitch McConnell," 13 Nov. 2020

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

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cliff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cliff



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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