climax

noun
cli·​max | \ ˈklī-ˌmaks How to pronounce climax (audio) \

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
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 And few scenes in Disney animation rival the magical climax when Cinderella transforms into a beautiful princess with the help of her Fairy Godmother. Josh Spiegel, Vulture, "A Crash Course in the History of Disney Animation Through Disney+," 11 Jan. 2021 The Song is the track’s ultimate head-bobbing climax, which instantly turns the song into a euphoric synth-pop banger. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best Latin Songs of 2020: Staff Picks," 16 Dec. 2020 That connection was shattered at the second-season climax, when Villanelle betrayed and shot Eve. Scott Huver, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: Best Actress Nominees' Performances Showcase Complex Female Friendships With "Wo-mances"," 11 Aug. 2020 After the big climax, an epilogue found heroine Diana Prince at the holidays, enjoying a winter wonderland of falling snow, playing children and peace while also being able to move on with her life. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Spoilers! Why 'Wonder Woman 1984' is now and forever officially a Christmas movie," 26 Dec. 2020 The lone extended flashback is crucial — the murder of a protagonist's parents — and there are just two battle scenes, the second a can't-turn-away climax. Star Tribune, "Review: 'From These Broken Streets,' by Roland Merullo," 24 Dec. 2020 Although Baird’s poet whips himself into a frenzy of blood lust in the pulse-pounding climax, the play isn’t about the glory of war but its brutality and futility. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: North Coast Rep’s ‘An Iliad’ takes viewers on a dark, fascinating journey," 14 Dec. 2020 The costume ball that the second Mrs. de Winter revives drives the novel to its harrowing climax and the turning point in her relationship with Max. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "The major differences between Rebecca the book and the movie," 22 Oct. 2020 That provides the cleanest solution, though not an especially compelling climax to the season. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "If The Game is off, the Big Ten needs to apply common sense to Ohio State’s dilemma: College football Monday Madness," 7 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tens of thousands saw the incredible Czech win the Olympic 5,000 meters, then the 10,000 meters and climax it all by capturing the marathon. Milt Marmor, Star Tribune, "AP WAS THERE: 1952 Helsinki Games," 2 Aug. 2020 The redefining of protests during the national anthem sets up a social, generational and political clash this fall that will climax with a November presidential election that’s largely a referendum on the leadership of President Donald Trump. Dallas News, "Despite Donald Trump’s stand, some leaders now support NFL players kneeling during national anthem," 15 June 2020 Taking advantage of decent field position, Deer Park ate up 58 yards in three plays, climaxed by a dramatic Potts-to-Molina pass of 48 yards with five seconds remaining. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Sanchez’s dramatic kick as time expires lifts Deer Park past Channelview 43-40," 28 Sep. 2019 In classic Abrams style, the comic was filled with secret plot machinations, climaxing in young Ben Parker’s discovery of his father’s Spider-Man costume in Aunt May’s basement. Christian Holub, EW.com, "5 comics to read in October, full of old wars and new changes," 2 Oct. 2019 Malone's miserable night climaxed with a dreadful, scoreless fourth quarter. oregonlive, "Trail Blazers Classics: Portland beats Utah Jazz in Game 6 of 1999 Western Conference semifinals to ‘shock the world’," 30 Apr. 2020 The standoff on the ladder appears to climax just as June exhausts her reserve of good parenting. Fiona Maazel, Harper's Magazine, "I Incriminate Myself So No One Else Can," 27 Apr. 2020 The debate around gun control in Virginia climaxed during a mass demonstration of gun rights activists, who assembled outside the Virginia State Capitol in late January. Spencer Neale, Washington Examiner, "Virginia Democrats tack on two more 'common sense' gun control bills during reconvened session," 23 Apr. 2020 Each hour thrilled with holy crap reveals, balanced with just enough new questions to keep us guessing —and a pivotal courtroom scene climaxed with Jeremy Irons letting out a tremendous fart. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "The best (and worst) TV shows of 2019," 11 Dec. 2019

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 and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for climax

Time Traveler

The first known use of climax was circa 1538

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Statistics for climax

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Climax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/climax. Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for climax

climax

noun
How to pronounce climax (audio)

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 How to pronounce climax (audio) \

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 How to pronounce climax (audio) \

Medical Definition of climax

1 : the highest or most intense point
2 : orgasm

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Comments on climax

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