\ 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 The Bulldogs did not fall off a cliff in 2019, but Fromm did not put them over the top. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Ryan Day cannot afford same quarterback mistake Georgia made: Buckeye Takes," 27 May 2020 There’s a guy who falls off a cliff and halfway down manages to grab hold of a branch. Itxu Díaz, National Review, "God Isn’t Dead After All," 11 Apr. 2020 The Alaska Department of Transportation plans to blast 2 million to 3 million pounds of rock from a cliff along the Seward Highway on Friday morning. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Up to 3 million pounds of rock will be blasted from a Seward Highway cliff Friday," 20 Mar. 2020 Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies. John P.a. Ioannidis, STAT, "A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data," 17 Mar. 2020 Rahm Emanuel, a senior adviser to President Clinton and chief of staff to Barack Obama, has been trying to talk Democratic voters away from the Sanders cliff and toward the relatively more moderate path of recent Democratic presidents. James Freeman, WSJ, "Sanders May Be Surging, But Is Socialism?," 3 Feb. 2020 The top three were drowning, transportation related (mostly being hit by trains), and falling off of things, such as cliff edges. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Here are the top ways people die while taking selfies and “being cool”," 4 Oct. 2018 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

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cliff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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