climax

noun
cli·max | \ˈklī-ˌmaks \

Definition of climax 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a figure of speech in which a series of phrases or sentences is arranged in ascending order of rhetorical forcefulness

2a : the highest point : culmination the climax of a distinguished career

b : the point of highest dramatic tension or a major turning point in the action (as of a play) At the novel's climax, the main character finds herself face to face with the thief.

c : orgasm

d : menopause

3 : a relatively stable ecological stage or community especially of plants that is achieved through successful adaptation to an environment especially : the final stage in ecological succession the tropical rain forest is a climatic climax — P. W. Richards

climax

verb
climaxed; climaxing; climaxes

Definition of climax (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to bring to a climax climaxed his boxing career with a knockout The protest in May climaxed a series of demonstrations in the nation's capital.

intransitive verb

: to come to a climax a riot climaxing in the destruction of several houses The movie climaxes with a fantastic chase scene.

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Other Words from climax

Noun

climaxless adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for climax

Noun

summit, peak, pinnacle, climax, apex, acme, culmination mean the highest point attained or attainable. summit implies the topmost level attainable. at the summit of the Victorian social scene peak suggests the highest among other high points. an artist working at the peak of her powers pinnacle suggests a dizzying and often insecure height. the pinnacle of worldly success climax implies the highest point in an ascending series. the war was the climax to a series of hostile actions apex implies the point where all ascending lines converge. the apex of Dutch culture acme implies a level of quality representing the perfection of a thing. a statue that was once deemed the acme of beauty culmination suggests the outcome of a growth or development representing an attained objective. the culmination of years of effort

Examples of climax in a Sentence

Noun

The movie's climax is a fantastic chase scene. At the novel's climax, the main character finds herself face to face with the thief. the climax of her career The protest in May was the climax of a series of demonstrations in the nation's capital.

Verb

The movie climaxes with a fantastic chase scene. The May protest climaxed a series of demonstrations in the nation's capital.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The climax has gone out of that dynamic, but the resonance remains. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "England's World Cup Run, Southgate Represent More for a Nation in Political Upheaval," 12 July 2018 In the ad's dramatic climax, a gush of water douses the fire and the threat is extinguished. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Dem candidate airs bizarre ‘dumpster fire’ ad," 19 June 2018 After taking off with spry synths, a tick-tocking beat and Jimin’s forlorn opening verse, the song subtly builds toward its sweeping, trop house climax. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "BTS' 50 Best Songs: Critics' Picks," 12 June 2018 The novel takes on the dimensions of a thriller in its action-packed final quarter, and Tamirat teeters between earned climax and excessive drama. Amy Weiss-meyer, The Atlantic, "The Deft Inventions of The Parking Lot Attendant," 4 Apr. 2018 The thirty-five-second video begins with Pink Guy and three costumed friends thrusting their hips robotically, as the song rises toward a wobbly climax. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "How 88rising Is Making a Place for Asians in Hip-Hop," 14 Mar. 2018 Finally, after months of waiting, Strzok got his chance to address that matter – and delivered a scorching monologue fit for the climax of an Aaron Sorkin script. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "FBI Agent Peter Strzok Scorches GOP in Testimony Fit For Aaron Sorkin Script," 12 July 2018 The episode playing in the Parr home depicts Jonny & Co. riding on water, directly setting up the massive hydrofoil yacht that serves as the setting for the climax of Incredibles 2. Josh Weiss, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Incredibles 2' TV References Are More Than Easter Eggs," 17 June 2018 Finally, in the summit’s closing hours, Trump brought matters to a climax. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Ends NATO Summit by Announcing a Diplomatic Breakthrough That Did Not Happen," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rival factions in the communist party exploited the protests in their pursuit of party control, with the crisis climaxing in the purge of Jews from the party and jobs. Washington Post, "Poland remembers 1968 student protests, anti-Semitic purge," 8 Mar. 2018 The performance climaxes, then slinks on, crests again and continues. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: Mummenschanz Offers Wonder, and a Grumpy Trash Bag," 10 July 2018 Sunday night will climax with sets from Chaka Khan and Lauryn Hill. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "15 Pop Music Festivals to Catch This Summer," 17 May 2018 The book recounts the glorious career of Greg LeMond, probably the greatest American cyclist of the modern era, climaxing with his comeback from near death and miraculous victory at the 1989 Tour de France. Daniel De Vise, Chicago Reader, "How two Belgian boys became the youngest kids to bike across the U.S.—in 1935," 21 June 2018 Photo: Kathy Willens/Associated Press There will be heroes and villains, upsets and predictable routs, climaxing at the final at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on the third Sunday in July. Jason Gay, WSJ, "A World Cup With It All, Just Not U.S.," 12 June 2018 Numerous complications, misunderstandings and threats arise, climaxing with the arrival of Lu's father (Michael Alston Baley), who looks like a gigantic shark dressed for a stroll through Belle Époque Paris. Charles Solomon, latimes.com, "Japanese animation 'Lu Over the Wall' gives mermaid tale new life," 10 May 2018 The series, which will climax with a decisive Game 7 on Sunday, has generated the highest ratings for an NBA Eastern Conference semifinal since 2014, including a Wednesday game that drew 7.35 million viewers. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "NFL vs. NBA: Which Will Be America’s Biggest Sport 10 Years From Now?," 26 May 2018 The festivities climaxed after Russia defeated Spain on July 1st to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1970. The Economist, "Russia shows its best side at the World Cup," 4 July 2018

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

Noun

circa 1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1807, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for climax

Noun

Late Latin, from Greek klimax, literally, ladder, from klinein to lean

Verb

see climax entry 1

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Statistics for climax

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for climax

The first known use of climax was circa 1538

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More Definitions for climax

climax

noun

English Language Learners Definition of climax

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the most exciting and important part of a story, play, or movie that occurs usually at or near the end

: the most interesting and exciting part of something : the high point

: the most intense point of sexual pleasure

climax

verb

English Language Learners Definition of climax (Entry 2 of 2)

: to reach the most exciting or important part in something

: to occur at the end as the most exciting or important part of (something)

: to have an orgasm

climax

noun
cli·max | \ˈklī-ˌmaks \

Kids Definition of climax

: the most interesting, exciting, or important time or part of something a story's climax

climax

noun
cli·max | \ˈklī-ˌmaks \

Medical Definition of climax 

1 : the highest or most intense point

2 : orgasm

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Comments on climax

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