cli·​mac·​tic | \ klī-ˈmak-tik How to pronounce climactic (audio) , klə-\

Definition of climactic

: of, relating to, or constituting a climax the film's climactic scene

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Other Words from climactic

climactically \ klī-​ˈmak-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce climactically (audio) , klə-​ \ adverb

Synonyms for climactic


apocalyptic (also apocalyptical), climacteric

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Examples of climactic in a Sentence

At the climactic moment, the main character of the novel finds herself face to face with the thief. the movie's climactic chase scene

Recent Examples on the Web

Finally, what really got folks upset was when Miguel tried to intervene in the middle of Randall and Kevin's climactic argument at the end of the episode. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Furious With Miguel After Watching the Latest Episode," 13 Mar. 2019 The dramatic arc builds persuasively to the climactic moments, shifting with increasing speed between scenes to the culminating revelation. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘The Flood’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ Reviews: Premieres in Pursuit of Reinvention," 11 Feb. 2019 What should have been a powerful, climactic moment was lost. Marie Claire, "'Outlander' Season 4 Finale Recap: 5 Biggest Takeaways," 28 Jan. 2019 For example, see the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff TV series Angel, which ends just before the big climactic fight in which all our heroes are hopelessly outnumbered. Aja Romano, Vox, "In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.," 27 Dec. 2018 History, after all, is written by the winners — which Richard, in the climactic battle at Bosworth Field, was not. Joel Brown,, "Capturing the villainy of Richard III, from the inside out," 12 July 2018 Oklahoma trailed, 31-10, at halftime and scored 10 points unanswered in the third quarter to create the outside possibility of a climactic finish. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Alabama Beats Oklahoma, Will Face Clemson for College Football National Title," 30 Dec. 2018 Additions to the story include romance and a climactic character death. Aja Romano, Vox, "Netflix’s new Watership Down proves the beloved children’s classic was a horror story all along," 30 Dec. 2018 French tries, but the climactic revelations here inevitably seem too little, too late. Maureen Corrigan, The Seattle Times, "Fans of Tana French are in for a surprise with ‘The Witch Elm’," 23 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'climactic.' 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 climactic

1747, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for climactic

Last Updated

30 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for climactic

The first known use of climactic was in 1747

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More Definitions for climactic



English Language Learners Definition of climactic

: most exciting and important : forming a climax


cli·​mac·​tic | \ klī-ˈmak-tik How to pronounce climactic (audio) \

Medical Definition of climactic

: of, relating to, or constituting a climax

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More from Merriam-Webster on climactic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with climactic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for climactic

Nglish: Translation of climactic for Spanish Speakers

Comments on climactic

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


an act or instance of returning to life

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