\ 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Facing the stone building, find a walkway off to the left that rises and climbs over some concrete steps. Charles Fleming,, "L.A. Walks: Explore an old winery site on a La Crescenta ramble," 12 July 2019 Police in Ontario, Canada, were responding to a call of a man in crisis at Horseshoe Falls when the man climbed over a retaining wall, Niagara Parks Police tweeted. Rebekah Riess, CNN, "Man swept over Niagara Falls survives," 9 July 2019 The only way to make it to the other side is to climb all the way up and over it. Rachel Crowell, Scientific American, "Quirky Quantum Tunneling Observed," 9 July 2019 Earlier: An inmate at the Etowah County Jail escaped early Sunday by using a garbage can to climb over a fence. Carol Robinson |,, "Etowah County inmate recaptured after using trash can to climb over fence in escape," 30 June 2019 And lo, Jimo Dashen did reply.... The young Chinese man scrambles across a Shanghai metro car, climbing over suitcases and outstretched legs amid the late-afternoon commuter rush. Alex Prewitt,, "How Do You Say 'Cheesecake Factory' In Mandarin? Behind the Scenes of Life in the Chinese Basketball Association," 27 June 2019 Staff members said fans were climbing over gates to get in line to register for Hanson Wednesday, and tickets for Walk the Moon's session filled up within the first 30 minutes. Nina Bertelsen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2019: Checking out 7 new things to experience (and eat) at the Big Gig," 27 June 2019 Such low unemployment is both lifting workers’ pay and helping people who’ve long been left behind to climb over steep barriers to labor market entry that hold them back in weaker labor markets. Jared Bernstein, Vox, "Low-income communities are finally feeling the expansion. The Fed is noticing.," 26 June 2019 Blood on top of a chainlink fence indicated where Gomez apparently climbed over, the dropped into the ravine and lay unconscious. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Police testify to finding gun, casings where officers were shot in Southcrest," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Surprise Valley Vista cross country Runners headed to Flagstaff last month for some high-altitude, steep climb runs. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Arizona high school teams find scenic, cooler camp getaways," 11 July 2019 But greens say the moves have the potential to subtly erode efficiency gains, cost consumers billions of dollars and leave America facing a steep climb toward the emission reductions targeted by the Paris climate accord. Benjamin Storrow, Scientific American, "Proposed Energy Efficiency Rules Could Slow Emissions Reductions," 17 June 2019 Stay left to stay on Doudy Draw Trail to tackle the toughest part of the day: a steep climb up to Flatirons Vista. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Mountain biking trails that’ll get you home in time for dinner," 13 June 2019 On Saturday, Golovkin will face Rolls (19-0), an untested opponent making a steep climb in competition. Chris Mannix,, "Gennadiy Golovkin Looks to Begin a New Era vs. Steve Rolls at MSG," 7 June 2019 And regardless of what happens to this caravan, future Central American asylum seekers, including families and children, are going to have a steep uphill climb to be allowed to stay in the United States. Dara Lind, Vox, "The migrant caravan has finally arrived at the border. So has the crackdown.," 30 Apr. 2018 The steep yet short climb will reward you with nearly panoramic views of the city, the bay, and beyond. Sunset, "Insider: What We’re Loving This Month in San Francisco," 22 Jan. 2018 After two years of experimentation, reworking, and national publicity, the numbers did climb, but only to 30 trips per day. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Transit Agencies Turn to Uber for the Last Mile," 29 June 2019 Along the way, Peters narrated the years before and after his big night in '89, the former a road map to the anguish that gripped him in high school, the latter a long, hard climb to physical and mental health. Tim Layden,, "Jon Peters and the Pain of Being 'SUPERKID'," 28 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about climb

Statistics for climb

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for climb

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


something desired as essential

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!