\ 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, 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

Yuki is a projectable arm who in the last year has seen his fastball climb up to 88 mph. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Royals sign pitcher believed to be youngest player yet from Japan," 8 July 2018 Because passengers had to climb aboard on a long running board, and could also jump off when the car was still in motion, there were some accidents. Jacques Kelly,, "Jacques Kelly: Museum's restoration of Car 554 brings back the era of open summer streetcars," 7 July 2018 The Black woman who was arrested for climbing the Statue of Liberty on July 4th says that she was inspired to take action by former First Lady Michelle Obama., "Black Woman Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty Says She Was Inspired By Michelle Obama," 6 July 2018 Another detailed a grueling six-hour ordeal, including having to climb over boulders several stories high before again submerging in viciously strong and murky currents. Richard C. Paddock,, "Thai cave rescue is pushing the abilities of divers to the edge," 6 July 2018 Temperatures will start to climb again on Monday to 92 degrees and will be back in the mid-90s again by Wednesday, Sturey said. Lavendrick Smith, charlotteobserver, "Need a break from the heat? You'll love Charlotte's weather this weekend.," 6 July 2018 In 2000, 12 people protesting the Navy's use of the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques for bombing exercises were arrested after a man climbed out on the spires of the statue's crown and attached flags and banners to it. Jennifer Peltz And Jake Pearson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Protester climbs up Statue of Liberty in defense of border families," 5 July 2018 Looking ahead, the week is forecasted to deliver high temperatures in the 90s, lows in the 70s and heat indices that climb past 100, notably on Wednesday (Independence Day) and Thursday. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis weather: Heat advisory, isolated storms to start July," 1 July 2018 And the child — in the middle of the hearing — started climbing up on the table. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Attorneys Say Immigrant Toddlers Are Facing Deportation Proceedings Without Their Parents," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Then the plane returned to its previous rate of climb. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "An Illusion Made FlyDubai Pilots Crash Their Plane Into the Ground," 25 Apr. 2016 For safety reasons, the Tanzania National Park Authorities doesn't allow anyone under the age of 10 climb the mountain, but Armstrong was able to get a special permit. Michelle Castillo, CBS News, "8-year-old becomes second youngest to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro," 16 July 2012 On the ARIA Albums Chart, Post Malone’s beerbongs & bentleys (Universal) returns to the zenith with a 5-1 climb, as his debut album Stoney improves 20-17. Lars Brandle, Billboard, "5 Seconds Of Summer Hit No. 1 on Australia's Singles Chart With 'Youngblood'," 28 May 2018 Since 2010, the county has added about 20,000 people and seen the percentage of adults with a college degree climb by about 2.5 percentage points. NBC News, "Two counties tell the tale of a growing education gap," 20 May 2018 Most of the climbs are relatively easy, too; trails are well marked and routes rarely require ropes or technical mountaineering skills. The Atlantic, "Is Social Media Luring Hikers Into 'Death Gully'?," 17 May 2018 But the crucial test will be the following day, when the peloton tackles a long, brutal stage that ends with a hard climb in Lake Tahoe. sacbee, "'I’m no scrub': Why altitude doesn't worry Tejay van Garderen in Tour of California | The Sacramento Bee," 16 May 2018 But this year’s ructions in global markets started with a steep climb in bond yields in part due to rising inflation. Richard Barley, WSJ, "Investors Have Become Too Complacent About Inflation," 11 July 2018 Hikers will eventually have to make a climb up, but the trail is only moderately difficult at points. Peter Marteka,, "A Hike To Lions Head And A View That Will Make You Roar In Delight," 24 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

9 Sep 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

Comments on climb

What made you want to look up climb? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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