\ 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 Desperate efforts to produce more ventilators have so far failed to significantly expand the number available — currently fewer than 10,000 — and the numbers of those infected continue to climb. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "U.K. Backs Off Medical Rationing Plan as Coronavirus Rages," 3 Apr. 2020 Near midnight, area hospitals reported 200 injured, and the number continued to climb. The Enquirer,, "From the archives: Deadly tornado struck Xenia and Cincinnati 46 years ago," 3 Apr. 2020 As the number of positive coronavirus cases climbs past 188,000, hospitals throughout the country have been in dire need of basic supplies like N95 face masks, face shields, surgical gowns, eye gear and hand sanitizer. Kaitlyn Frey,, "Kris and Kylie Jenner Team Up with Coty to Create Hand Sanitizer for Healthcare Workers," 1 Apr. 2020 And as temperatures climb, the hole probably won’t stick around, as Martyn Chipperfield, atmospheric chemist at the University of Leeds, tells Hannah Osborne at Newsweek. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why This Rare, Huge Ozone Hole Over the Arctic Is Troubling Scientists," 1 Apr. 2020 The Oregon Health Authority on Monday reported novel coronavirus deaths rose by three to 16 as confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state climbed to 606. oregonlive, "Coronavirus in Oregon: 3 new deaths as known cases surpass 600, health officials say," 30 Mar. 2020 As the number of coronavirus cases in the state continues to climb, Wisconsin is hoping to double its testing capacity through a new partnership with laboratories across the state. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin prepares for possible next stage of coronavirus spread with more testing, scouting locations for response," 30 Mar. 2020 As the van from the small airport climbed the rough-terraced mountain and the sky came close again, the driver asked what had brought me to Lalibela. Ishion Hutchinson, Harper's Magazine, "Dreams of Stone," 30 Mar. 2020 While the numbers continue to climb, not everyone believes the disease is nearly as serious as medical and epidemiology experts say. Fox News, "Saudi nurse breaks down as he's forced to refuse son's hug after work," 27 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For new cars built over the next six years, automakers must still increase efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions each year but at a lower climb versus the original Obama-era regulations from 2012. Clifford Atiyeh, Car and Driver, "U.S. Sets Final Fuel Economy, Emissions Standards for 2021–2026 Vehicles," 31 Mar. 2020 That’s a climb from the 166 sales recorded in 2016, but not so much from the $1.494 million median sales price that year. Candace Jackson, New York Times, "East Cut, San Francisco: A Newly Rebranded Neighborhood Takes a Bow," 31 Mar. 2020 Originally published in 1990, and updated a couple of times since, the book recounts the most famous climbs and worst tragedies on North America’s highest peak, and introduces readers to the many colorful individuals who have made their mark on it. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "22 Alaska books our reviewers recommend for when you’re hunkered down," 27 Mar. 2020 Typically, this should be a season when sales climb - March Madness, NBA games, the coming of baseball. William Thornton |, al, "‘Everybody is making a sacrifice’: How one Alabama main street is coping," 26 Mar. 2020 Curiosity recently finished a record-setting climb by rolling up its steepest hill to date. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Curiosity rover shares new selfie, climbs steep hill on Mars," 24 Mar. 2020 Local and state leaders warn that California will surely see its case counts climb in the coming weeks. Erin Allday,, "New York state has 10 times the coronavirus cases California has. Why?," 24 Mar. 2020 But in 1954, John Clark initiated an extraordinary climb. Carl Zimmer, The Atlantic, "Nuclear Tests Marked Life on Earth With a Radioactive Spike," 20 Mar. 2020 That climb includes a detailed, victors-side version of the Brewers' loss to the Nationals in the NL wild card game, which gets its own heartbreaking chapter. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "12 new baseball books worth adding to your lineup while we wait for baseball to come back," 20 Mar. 2020

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

7 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 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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