\ ˈklīm How to pronounce climb (audio) \
climbed; climbing; climbs

Definition of climb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to go upward with gradual or continuous progress : rise, ascend watching the smoke climb
b : to increase gradually prices are continuing to climb
c : to slope upward a climbing path
2a : to go upward or raise oneself especially by grasping or clutching with the hands climbed aboard the train
b of a plant : to ascend in growth (as by twining) Ivy is climbing up the walls of the old building.
3 : to go about or down usually by grasping or holding with the hands climb down the ladder
4 : to get into or out of clothing usually with some haste or effort the firefighters climbed into their clothes

transitive verb

1 : to go upward on or along, to the top of, or over climb a hill
2 : to draw or pull oneself up, over, or to the top of by using hands and feet children climbing the tree
3 : to grow up or over ivy climbing the wall



Definition of climb (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place where climbing is necessary to progress steep climbs
2 : the act or an instance of climbing : rise, ascent It's a 20-minute climb to the ridge from here.

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Other Words from climb


climbable \ ˈklī-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce climbable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for climb

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Noun

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Examples of climb in a Sentence

Verb He dreams of climbing Kilimanjaro. It took them six days to climb the mountain. She has climbed seriously for several years now. The actors were climbing down from the stage. He climbed over the fence. The passengers of the sailboat climbed aboard. The pilot climbed into the cockpit. I think she climbed in through the window. He climbed out of the car with a box in his hands. Noun It's a 20-minute climb to the ridge from here. He's planning to attempt one of the most difficult climbs in South America this summer. The book made a rapid climb to the top of the best-seller list.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The protests and rallies have gained support as unemployment continues to climb across the country. Fox News, "Protests and rallies across US call for end to coronavirus stay-at-home orders," 19 Apr. 2020 Mobile won’t be imposing a strict 10% crowd limit at big-box retailers and grocery stores as the number of coronavirus cases in the county continues to climb. al, "Mobile backs away from stricter crowd sizes at big box stores," 15 Apr. 2020 The number of new cases in Europe has stabilized in recent days though more than 50,000 people have died on the continent and the fatalities continue to climb. Ben Sills, Fortune, "How European countries plan to reopen their economies from the coronavirus lockdown," 14 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, confirmed cases and deaths in Iran continue to climb. Murat Oztaskin, The New Yorker, "What Social Distancing Looks Like in Tehran," 9 Apr. 2020 On Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order mandating that all residents wear masks in grocery stores as coronavirus cases and deaths continue to climb. Tanya A. Christian, Essence, "California Woman Arrested For Licking Groceries As States Enact Protections For Workers," 9 Apr. 2020 A decade later, Nikki, now 28, has become one of the leading voices on the opioid crisis in rural America—where, some 20 years into the disaster, treatment options remain scarce even as overdose deaths continue to climb. Beth Macy, The Atlantic, "A New Approach to Fighting the Opioid Crisis," 9 Apr. 2020 As coronavirus cases continue to climb in the U.S., another public health crisis is brewing. Kate Smith, CBS News, ""That's where it ends up": Texas attorney general said he expects the coronavirus abortion ban will reach the Supreme Court," 8 Apr. 2020 As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb—there are currently more than 400,000 reported cases in the US alone—most of us are taking precautionary measures to avoid contracting the virus. Leah Groth,, "Should You Wear Gloves to the Grocery Store? Why Doctors Say It's Not a Good Idea During Coronavirus," 8 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Democratic candidate faces a steep uphill climb against Gov. Eric Holcomb, especially in the financial department. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers names running mate," 8 May 2020 Yet another part of me knows that even with these great victories, that change and evolution doesn’t happen in a steep climb up. Kaitlin Reilly,, "Janet Mock’s Hollywood Is An Invitation To Stop Whitewashing," 5 May 2020 The whole process just became a steep uphill climb. Savannah Eadens, The Courier-Journal, "'Daunting and unsettling.' What it's like to give birth in the midst of a global pandemic," 17 Apr. 2020 On the last maneuver, Halladay entered a steep climb and his speed fell to about 85 mph. NBC News, "Baseball Hall of Famer Roy Halladay on drugs, doing stunts before fatal plane crash, report finds," 16 Apr. 2020 During its final move, Mr. Halladay’s plane entered a steep climb and then descended nose-down before crashing into the water at a 45-degree angle. Michael Levenson, New York Times, "Drugs and Stunts Cited in Plane Crash That Killed Roy Halladay," 15 Apr. 2020 On the last maneuver, Halladay entered a steep climb and his speed fell to about 85 miles per hour. CBS News, "MLB Hall of Famer Roy Halladay was on drugs and did stunts when plane crashed in 2017, NTSB say," 15 Apr. 2020 That would bring to a close the longest bull run in Wall Street history, an 11-year climb. Washington Post, "`It gets worse’: Stocks plummet again over coronavirus fears," 12 Mar. 2020 Though a draw back home, Neoma still has a long climb to the top of American charts. Dylan Owens, The Know, "Why one of Ecuador’s most promising pop bands moved to Denver to launch its debut album," 2 Dec. 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


circa 1577, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for climb

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English climban; probably akin to Old English clifian to adhere — more at cleave

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Time Traveler for climb

Time Traveler

The first known use of climb was before the 12th century

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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

21 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for climb


How to pronounce climb (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of climb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move or go up (something) using your feet and often your hands
: to go up mountains, cliffs, etc., as a sport
: to move yourself in a way that usually involves going up or down



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

: the act or process of climbing a mountain, hill, etc.
: the act or process of moving upward
: the act or process of going to a higher level or position


\ ˈklīm How to pronounce climb (audio) \
climbed; climbing

Kids Definition of climb

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move in a way that involves going up or down He climbed over the fence. They climbed out the window.
2 : to go up or down on often with the help of the hands climb stairs climb a ladder
3 : to rise little by little to a higher point Smoke was climbing in the air.
4 : to go upward in growing (as by winding around something) a climbing vine
5 : to increase in amount, value, or level The temperature is climbing.

Other Words from climb

climber \ ˈklī-​mər \ noun



Kids Definition of climb (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place where climbing is necessary It looked to be about a fifty-foot climb, straight up.— Louis Sachar, Holes
2 : the act of climbing It's a tiring climb to the top.

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More from Merriam-Webster on climb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for climb

Spanish Central: Translation of climb

Nglish: Translation of climb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of climb for Arabic Speakers

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