\ 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 Firefighters and a professional beekeeper climbed a ladder to remove the hive, which was on the roof of a four-story Hampton Inn. Francisco Guzman And Saeed Ahmed, CNN, "A swarm of nearly 40,000 bees attacked police responding to a single bee sting report," 21 Feb. 2020 For white Americans, pursuing the American Dream is like climbing an income ladder. Time, "The American Dream Remains Inaccessible for Many Black Americans. Here’s How We Can Fix That," 20 Feb. 2020 Rajesh Bhatt, a senior fire official at the scene, said the factory had just one door that could only be reached by climbing a steep ladder. Author: Sheikh Saaliq, Martha Mendoza, Anchorage Daily News, "India denim factory that caught fire, killing at least 7, had single door reached by ladder," 12 Feb. 2020 Philbert, at the time, was a noted professor in the U-M School of Public Health, climbing the ladder of the academic ranks. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "High-ranking U-M official has years of misconduct allegations — and school knew," 12 Feb. 2020 Will Katy climbing the ladder in the fashion industry prove as dramatic as all the murder-solving her contemporaries are doing over on Riverdale? Kaitlin Reilly,, "Riverdale Spin-Off Star Katy Keene Is More Than Josie’s New Best Friend," 7 Feb. 2020 That has big implications for business, and for anyone climbing the corporate ladder. The Economist, "Meet the new boss What it takes to be a CEO in the 2020s," 6 Feb. 2020 The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 483.22 points, or 1.7%, to 29290.85. Alexander Osipovich, WSJ, "Stocks Rally to Records as Investors’ Coronavirus Concerns Ease," 5 Feb. 2020 The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 143.78 points, or 0.5%, to close at 28,399.81, recovering some of its losses after tumbling more than 600 points Friday. Jessica Menton, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus: Dow jumps 144 points as investors assess risks," 3 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Closings Flipdaddy's in Union: Flipdaddy's is still on an uphill climb out of bankruptcy. Polly Campbell,, "Cincinnati restaurants that closed in January," 4 Feb. 2020 The chorus of Republicans unwilling to consider additional evidence served as an indication that Democrats will face an uphill climb in their attempts to further build a case against Trump as the Senate trial plays out. Anchorage Daily News, "Senate impeachment trial begins with rancor over witnesses and new evidence about Trump’s Ukraine dealings," 17 Jan. 2020 The Wolverines will have to learn how to play more consistently and avoid cold stretches, like the one that made this game an uphill climb. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball a work in progress, but pieces are there for success," 14 Dec. 2019 Lynch potentially has an uphill climb to the oversight committee position, although there is only one other publicly declared candidate, Representative Jackie Speier of California., "WASHINGTON — Representative Stephen Lynch of South Boston said Monday he plans to run to become chairman of the House’s powerful Oversight and Reform Committee.," 29 Oct. 2019 All four candidates face an uphill climb against Campa-Najjar, who leads the poll with 31 percent. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Republicans fail to endorse a candidate for 50th Congressional District," 14 Oct. 2019 Even though there is growth and visibility largely due to Tesla, BEVs face an uphill climb for several reasons. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "The 2021 Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell car has more luxury, less ugly," 10 Oct. 2019 With a loss, the Bears would face an uphill climb after losing their first two division games at home. Brad Biggs,, "Column: The Bears and Vikings have championship-caliber defenses. Mike Zimmer is catering to his. What will Matt Nagy do with Mitch Trubisky off to a slow start?," 27 Sep. 2019 That creates an uphill climb to reach bowl eligibility in Chip Kelly’s second season as head coach. Si Wire,, "Oklahoma vs. UCLA Live Stream: Watch Online, TV Channel, Time," 14 Sep. 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

25 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 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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