\ 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

clamber, scrabble, scramble, swarm

Synonyms: Noun

ascension, ascent, rise, rising, soar

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

Some grills are 50-60% off, while the sale prices of others climb all the way to the 70% tier. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "Hurry! Grills Are Up to 70% Off Right Now at Wayfair," 14 May 2019 Pippa's father's name is Michael, but the name Michael also honors James's brother Michael Matthews, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 22 while climbing Mount Everest. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Pippa Middleton's Baby Boy's Name Pays Tribute to Her Late Brother-in-Law," 12 Nov. 2018 Laborers lead donkeys and camels with loads of building material to the site, while stonecutters and masons climb the wall and occasionally suffer falls and other mishaps. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient “comic strip” depicts the founding of a Roman city," 10 Oct. 2018 Gas prices jumped 3 percent last month and 20.3 percent on the year, while shelter expenses have climbed 3.4 percent annually. Josh Boak, Fox News, "US consumer prices rose an annual 2.7 percent in August," 13 Sep. 2018 In June, two visitors died while climbing El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "An 18-Year-Old Died Reportedly While Taking a Selfie in Yosemite National Park," 7 Sep. 2018 While Newgarden did climb into second place — 33 points back of Dixon — Iowa was almost like a mulligan for the championship field. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar in Toronto: 'Eh Team' returns home; Conor Daly returns to field," 12 July 2018 While transportation emissions climbed that year, the board credits biofuels with limiting the damage. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "California Beat Its 2020 Emissions Target Four Years Early," 12 July 2018 One boy was able to climb his way out, and another was quickly rescued. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "The Emotional True Story Behind Chrissy Metz's New Movie 'Breakthrough'," 15 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The biggest segment of Intel’s data-centric businesses, the Data Center Group, saw revenue climb 21% last year to $23 billion, according to the company’s latest earnings release. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Intel Again Turns to Outsider CFO As Chip Maker Advances Shift Away From PCs," 3 Apr. 2019 As of Tuesday morning, eastern Iowans woke up to more than six inches of snow, and will see that number climb to around 10 inches as the day goes on. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Brace Yourselves: The Entire Country Will be Hit by a Brutal Winter Storm This Week," 12 Feb. 2019 The first Warriors-Cavs rematch, in 2016, saw average viewership climb to 20.2 million. Steven Zeitchik,, "How the NBA Finals are defying TV ratings declines (Hint: LeBron James may not be the reason)," 8 June 2018 Veteran Blaine Boyer saw his season ERA climb to 25.20 (14 earned runs in five innings). Maria Torres, kansascity, "Ned Yost believed in his bullpen, but it keeps getting worse after Jays sweep Royals | The Kansas City Star," 18 Apr. 2018 Officers saw the suspect climb onto a fire escape at 400 Boylston St. and then enter the building through a second-floor window, police said. Emily Sweeney,, "K-9 helps nab man seen breaking into buildings on Boylston Street," 16 Apr. 2018 The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will see funding climb to $152.8 million each, a $3-million increase over the last fiscal year. Washington Post,, "Here's what Congress stuffed into its $1.3-trillion spending bill," 23 Mar. 2018 The National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will see funding climb to $152.8 million each, a $3 million increase over the last fiscal year. Mike Debonis, Washington Post, "Here’s what Congress is stuffing into its $1.3 trillion spending bill," 22 Mar. 2018 Now in his 10th year playing for Korea, forward Brock Radunske has seen the climb from virtual anonymity to the Olympics. Stephen Whyno, The Seattle Times, "Ex-NHL player Jim Paek makes Korea hockey dream come true," 11 Feb. 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

Verb and Noun

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

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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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).


one that collects or salvages junk

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