intransitive verb
\ ˈklif-ˌhaŋ \

Definition of cliff-hang 

: to end an installment of a cliffhanger with a suspenseful usually melodramatic unresolved conflict designed to entice the audience to read or view the succeeding installment to discover the resolution of the conflict to forbid cliff-hanging in children's radio serials

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of cliff-hang

1938, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cliff-hang

Share cliff-hang

Statistics for cliff-hang

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cliff-hang

The first known use of cliff-hang was in 1938

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on cliff-hang

See words that rhyme with cliff-hang

Comments on cliff-hang

What made you want to look up cliff-hang? 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

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!