\ˈklīm \
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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for climb

Synonyms: Verb

arise, ascend, aspire, lift, mount, rise, soar, thrust, up, uprear, uprise, upthrust, upturn

Synonyms: Noun

ascension, ascent, rise, rising, soar

Antonyms: Verb

decline, descend, dip, drop, fall (off), plunge

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

Moments after being dropped off, Antonio Gonzalez sat in the bus station's waiting area while Francisco climbed on the chair next to him, and admired his good fortune. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "Trump administration issues new asylum rules aimed at families arriving at border," 13 July 2018 Gas prices are expected to climb higher on July 4, hitting $3 a gallon at some stations across the U.S. as drivers gear up for road trips on one of the year’s busiest travel days. Katherine Blunt, San Antonio Express-News, "Gas prices climbing for the Fourth," 2 July 2018 As Civil War soldiers returned home, all America could climb on board with Gilpin’s fantastical promises, any threatening idea of a great desert now disregarded. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 On July 1, San Francisco’s minimum wage will climb from $14 to $15, the culmination of a four-year process set in motion by more than three-quarters of San Francisco voters in 2014. Justin Phillips,, "SF restaurants struggle for balance in prices, service as wage hike arrives," 29 June 2018 Walters was also able to climb on the roof of the roundhouse. Karen Pearlman,, "Iconic La Mesa dealership, the Roundhouse of Values, being demolished," 26 June 2018 This collaboration with The Can Van riffed on Chris Farley’s iconic Saturday Night Live character Matt Foley and inspired a fan to climb into the water in a tweed coat. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "These 15 Sacramento-area beers have the cleverest names of any released in 2018," 12 July 2018 Poway safety officials are warning hikers to be careful as summer temperatures begin to climb. Pomerado News, "Poway officials warn hikers as temperatures rise," 6 July 2018 And the toll is continuing to climb as people overdose on heroin laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that makes heroin much more potent—and much deadlier. The Editors, Scientific American, "Addicts Should Be Able to Shoot Up Legally in Safe-Injection Facilities," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Redwood walk: The Pioneer Tree Trail starts at the Redwood Grove Picnic Area and then is routed for 2 miles, amid the park’s old-growth redwood trees with a 400-foot climb, in and out of Wildcat Canyon, and then loops back along Lagunitas Creek. Tom Stienstra,, "Sunday getaway to Samuel P. Taylor State Park," 8 July 2018 The latest is the climb to the worldwide $1 billion mark, a milestone a few other Marvel movies have achieved—but none of the others did it this quickly. Emma Stefansky, HWD, "Avengers: Infinity War Has Already Made $1 Billion," 5 May 2018 For a steep climb, rock scrambling and epic view, try the First and Second Flatiron hike. Melanie D.g. Kaplan,, "Boulder, Colorado, does things its own way," 12 July 2018 Armadillo Boulders will offer a variety of amenities, including yoga and pilates classes, weight training and exercise equipment, and set aside two hours a day — 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. — exclusively for families for climb. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio joins other Texas cities with its own standalone bouldering gym," 11 July 2018 Since no supplier inside VW Group offered the power density needed for the climb, the team used batts from U.S. supplier A123 Systems. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Volkswagen’s All-Electric Effort to Climb Out of Its P.R. Hole," 4 July 2018 Though Debbie might be more comfortable in a Vegas environment, the actress who plays her wants to continue to see her character face an uphill climb. Jackie Strause, The Hollywood Reporter, "'GLOW' Bosses on "Uncomfortable" Finale and (Likely) Season 3," 4 July 2018 The Spin Doctors may be hold the record for the slowest inexorable climb of an album up the charts. Mel Shields, sacbee, "Spin Doctors and Vanilla Ice headline Reno's annual brews and blues festival," 14 June 2018 The canyon itself makes for a relatively chill, enjoyable cruise, but a spider web of connector routes—both fire roads and single-track trails— provides opportunities for steep climbs and rocky descents with a side of knockout scenery. Shawnté Salabert, Los Angeles Magazine, "From Archery to Mountain Biking, There’s an L.A. Park for Every Outdoor Hobby," 7 June 2018

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


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


see climb entry 1

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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

4 Nov 2018

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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 \
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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