1

climax

play
noun cli·max \ ˈklī-ˌmaks \

Definition of climax

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

climaxless

adjective

Examples of climax in a Sentence

  1. The movie's climax is a fantastic chase scene.

  2. At the novel's climax, the main character finds herself face to face with the thief.

  3. the climax of her career

  4. The protest in May was the climax of a series of demonstrations in the nation's capital.

Recent Examples of climax from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of climax

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

Synonym Discussion of climax

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

Other Performing Arts Terms


2

climax

verb

Definition of climax

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.

Examples of climax in a Sentence

  1. The movie climaxes with a fantastic chase scene.

  2. The May protest climaxed a series of demonstrations in the nation's capital.

Recent Examples of climax from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of climax

climax Synonyms

Synonyms
cap (off), crown, culminate
Related Words
complete, conclude, finish, round (off or out), terminate, wrap up

CLIMAX Defined for English Language Learners

climax

play
noun

Definition of climax for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of climax for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

climax

play
noun cli·max \ ˈklī-ˌmaks \

Definition of climax for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

climax

play
noun cli·max \ ˈklī-ˌmaks \

medical Definition of climax

1 :the highest or most intense point
2 :orgasm
3 a :menopause 1a(2)


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up climax? 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

to curse or denounce

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?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!