\ 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

clamber, scrabble, scramble, swarm

Synonyms: Noun

ascension, ascent, rise, rising, soar

Antonyms: Noun

descent, dip, dive, drop, fall, nosedive, plunge

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Examples of climb in a Sentence


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.


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

From there, the gravel trail quickly transitions to singletrack before crossing the bridge and steeply climbing to the high point of the route. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 Overall, costs associated with CalPERS will climb by $677,358 next year, the report notes. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway council to review tight budget for coming year," 12 June 2019 For example, overall tourist arrivals slipped following the 2012 climbing season, during which 12 Everest climbers perished (the most since 1996), due in part to congestion at the highest altitudes. Adam Minter, Twin Cities, "Adam Minter: Everest needs to go more commercial," 10 June 2019 Drive south and sign up for a two-day trad-climbing course with Seneca Rocks Climbing School, or tackle the multi-pitch routes that rise several hundred feet from the valley floor on distinctive rock fins on your own. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Best Road Trips in North America," 10 June 2019 The start of a days-long trend toward unusually high temperatures was under way on Saturday, and meteorologists warn residents to brace themselves for excessive heat as the temperatures climb. Lauren Hernández,, "Some Bay Area cities ‘on track’ to beat record temperatures for June this weekend," 8 June 2019 The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 100 points, or 0.4%, to 25640, heading toward its third straight day of gains. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Stocks Edge Higher on Dovish Central-Bank Signals," 6 June 2019 The song proved to be a hit, climbing all the way to No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, and became his first song to make it on to the Billboard Hot 100. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Ty Herndon Re-Releases Country Hit 'What Mattered Most' With New Pronouns: Watch," 6 June 2019 However, climbing to the fifth stage of grief—acceptance—seemingly wasn't easy for the entire crew, especially during the current season six hiatus. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "'When Calls the Heart' Star Jack Wagner Is Really Struggling With Lori Loughlin's Exit," 2 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The next step of that climb pits Hartford against Nashville SC, the third-place team in the conference at 7-3-4, on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Rentschler Field. Shawn Mcfarland,, "No longer in last place, Hartford Athletic looks to continue point streak against Nashville SC," 15 June 2019 Although the trail ascends 755 feet, flowing switchbacks take most of the sweat and toil out of the climb. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "You'll probably have the summit to yourself on this shady summer hike," 7 June 2019 At Siskiyou, a first-ever Youth Fishing Day, with bonus plants and huge trout, was hosted last Saturday, and for summer, a youth swimming beach with an array of climb-on inflatable structures on the water will be in place. Tom Stienstra,, "Planning a trip to California’s far north this summer? Read this first.," 7 June 2019 News of the Curvy Kili Crew spread through online plus-size travel and hiking communities; the trip sold out and amassed a lengthy wait list more than a year ahead of the climb. Kathleen Rellihan, Glamour, "Who Says Plus-Size Women Can't Climb Kilimanjaro?," 8 Mar. 2019 So many hugs, so much acknowledgment of the long climb from the Bronx to the pinnacle of American fashion. Christina Binkley, WSJ, "Ralph Lauren Wants People to Feel Good About Their Country," 7 Nov. 2018 His approval ratings suggest voters didn’t mind the climb-down. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Italy’s Far-Right Firebrand Takes Aim at Europe," 13 Feb. 2019 George King, from Britain, is believed to be the first to complete the unfathomable free-climb ascent up the Excalibur wall at the Bjoeks Climb Center in Groningen, Netherlands. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Daredevil, 18, scales tallest freestanding climbing wall without ropes, harness - in 15 minutes," 3 Aug. 2018 The biggest segment of Intel’s data-centric businesses, the Data Center Group, saw revenue climb 21% last year to $23 billion, according to the company’s latest earnings release. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Intel Again Turns to Outsider CFO As Chip Maker Advances Shift Away From PCs," 3 Apr. 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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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for climb

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

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More Definitions for climb



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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