\ ˈklif \

Definition of cliff 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from cliff

cliffy \ˈkli-fē \ 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

The two had gotten up to hiking trails on top of the cliff after the teen fell. Bill Leukhardt,, "Teen Hurt In Cliff Fall At Ragged Mountain In Berlin," 22 June 2018 As a child, Daisher was into activities that lent themselves to BASE jumping — trampoline, gymnastics, diving and jumping from cliffs into water. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "He's risked his life more than 4,600 times. He's not done risking it yet.," 30 May 2018 All the Hart children are known or presumed to be dead, after Jen Hart drove the family SUV off a California cliff in late March., "Hart children's tiny bodies telegraphed warning that went unheeded by Oregon officials," 5 May 2018 Does Homer's fall from a cliff in the April 29 record-breaker pay homage to that early scene? Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "'The Simpsons' exclusive: Matt Groening (mostly) remembers the show's record 636 episodes," 27 Apr. 2018 Dainty clusters of cottages and unassuming shops along the cliffs make up the town of Jenner, California, a favorite hideaway that has (miraculously) remained unspoiled by tourists. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days On California's Russian River and Sonoma Coast," 16 Apr. 2018 The man told authorities that the wasp that flew into his vehicle distracted him from the cliff ahead of him, the sheriff’s office said. Jared Gilmour, sacbee, "Wasp flew into Arizona man’s Jeep. Vehicle went off a cliff as he tried getting it out, deputies say | The Sacramento Bee," 6 Apr. 2018 Authorities are still trying to piece together what happened when an SUV packed with a family of eight drove off a California cliff last weekend. Anne Branigin, The Root, "Missing Teen Told Neighbor His Adoptive Parents Were Withholding Food in Week Leading Up to Deadly Car Crash," 30 Mar. 2018 About five years ago during summer vacation in Kennebunkport, Maine, Benson took his executive team and their spouses on a white-knuckle van ride along the harrowing seaside cliffs. Jeff Duncan,, "Tom Benson's Saints inner circle fondly recalls life and times with 'Mr. B'," 23 Mar. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cliff

Statistics for cliff

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cliff

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cliff



English Language Learners Definition of cliff

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


\ ˈklif \

Kids Definition of cliff

: a high steep surface of rock

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cliff

What made you want to look up cliff? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!