\ ˈklif How to pronounce cliff (audio) \

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 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

From the top of the cliff, the trail of chains and ladders leading to the base of Mooney Falls looks medieval. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Hiking to Havasupai: How far is it, what's Mooney Falls like and everything you need to know," 24 June 2019 An individual who drove off the side of a cliff and plunged more than 150 feet early Sunday morning in Pacifica has survived the incident, according to authorities. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "Driver rescued after plunging 150 feet from Pacifica cliff," 16 June 2019 For $1,000 per person, there's an overnight camping trip with a tent on the edge of a cliff in Colorado. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "Airbnb is selling $5,000 rafting tours and other advenutres," 13 June 2019 But on March 26, 2018, their car was found at the bottom of a cliff off California's Highway 1. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Sarah Hart Was ‘Intoxicated’: Everything We’ve Learned So Far About the Hart Family From the Coroner’s Inquest," 5 Apr. 2019 Off the cliff edge, hailing in the breeze, were welcoming arms of poison ivy thirty feet below. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's magazine, "Ramblin’ Man," 24 June 2019 Manor and Heathcliff drives, Pacifica; Sunday at 2 a.m. Driver rescued after car plunged 150 feet off a cliff. Bay Area News Group, The Mercury News, "Wild weekend on Bay Area roads: Where major crashes occurred," 17 June 2019 The Colts in 2015 were a smoke-and-mirrors bunch that had overachieved by reaching the 2014 season’s AFC title game, an aging team that had peaked and was about to fall off a cliff. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: Colts QB Andrew Luck is injured AND EVERYONE SEEMS OK WITH IT," 11 June 2019 Some players, even great ones, fall off a cliff quickly: Roberto Alomar, Mattingly, Dale Murphy, maybe Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto. Tom Verducci,, "Seven Reasons Behind Jose Ramirez's Strange and Steep Decline," 10 June 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.

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

13 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce cliff (audio) \

Kids Definition of cliff

: a high steep surface of rock

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cliff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cliff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!