1

climacteric

play
adjective cli·mac·ter·ic \ klī-ˈmak-t(ə-)rik ; ˌklī-ˌmak-ˈter-ik , -ˈtir- \

Definition of climacteric

1 :constituting or relating to a climacteric

climacteric was our Word of the Day on 09/25/2011. Hear the podcast!

Examples of climacteric in a Sentence

  1. as the war reached its climacteric phase, the atrocities dramatically increased, both in number and brutality

Recent Examples of climacteric from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'climacteric.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of climacteric

Latin climactericus, from Greek klimaktērikos, from klimaktēr critical point, literally, rung of a ladder, from klimak-, klimax ladder


2

climacteric

noun

Definition of climacteric

1 :a major turning point or critical stage
2 a :menopause 1
3 :the marked and sudden rise in the respiratory rate of fruit just prior to full ripening

Examples of climacteric in a Sentence

  1. historians attempting to pinpoint the Roman Empire's climacteric, that precise moment when it began its long downhill slide

Did You Know?

Climacteric comes from the Greek word klimaktēr, meaning "critical point" or, literally, "rung of a ladder." English speakers have long used climacteric for those inevitable big moments encountered on the metaphorical ladder of life. The major climacterics in a person’s life were once thought to happen in years denoted by multiples of 7 or 9 or only in the odd multiples of 7 (7, 21, 35, etc.). The grand (or great) climacteric was held to occur in the 63rd (7 x 9) or the 81st (9 x 9) year of life. Today, climacteric can refer to male or female menopause, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but the general "turning point" sense is not usually tied to a specific age.

First Known Use of climacteric

1633

Other Physiology Terms


Medical Dictionary

1

climacteric

play
adjective cli·mac·ter·ic \ klī-ˈmak-t(ə-)rik, ˌklī-ˌmak-ˈter-ik \

medical Definition of climacteric

:constituting or characterized by the climacteric
  • the climacteric state

2

climacteric

noun

medical Definition of climacteric

1 :menopause 1a(2)


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a ram's-horn trumpet used in Judaism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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