\ 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

Fast Retailing shares climbed 0.9% in Tokyo trading on Wednesday. Grace Huang, Fortune, "Uniqlo’s Billionaire Founder Wants a Woman to Succeed Him," 4 Sep. 2019 Stevens was on the phone with Reneau for approximately 22 minutes as the water level climbed from Stevens' feet to her head. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "‘I don’t know why you’re freaking out,’ Arkansas 911 dispatcher told a woman minutes before she drowned," 31 Aug. 2019 As your core temperature climbs, your body starts to shut down. Wired, "Elite Athletes Are Changing How They Train for Extreme Heat," 30 Aug. 2019 The games were now six innings instead of seven because the heat index had climbed to 110 degrees. Mike Nortrup,, "Rec Sports Spotlight: Winfield Sting softball makes run at national tournament," 24 Aug. 2019 As the road climbed, the great snow peaks of the High Andes floated into view, one by one, rising from behind intermediate mountains, like the main act coming through a chorus line. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 Hedge funds’ net length in Brent crude-oil futures and options has been climbing steadily since early March, albeit with the pace slowing this month. Washington Post, "Oil Seems Remarkably Relaxed as Global Tensions Rise," 18 Sep. 2019 Kevin is a social, curious, and outgoing kitten who climbs over everyone, the MSPCA said., "A stray kitten with a serious heart condition is going under the knife this week, and the MSPCA is raising money to help with the costs of the lifesaving operation, officials said.," 17 Sep. 2019 The median sale price still rose by 2.5% over the last year to $417,500 — but that’s half the rate prices were climbing last August and a quarter that of August 2017. oregonlive, "Homebuyers may have an edge as sales flatten," 17 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When the race was then stopped with Bernal racing away on the downhill, organizers decided the riders' timings to the top of the Iseran climb would be used to determine the overall standings. Samuel Petrequin, Fox News, "Colombian rider Egan Bernal poised to become youngest Tour de France post-World War II winner," 28 July 2019 The Music and reorganization at the Recording Academy, are just the beginning of a long, uphill climb. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Spotlight: Jay-Z's Former Attorney Jennifer Justice Is Using Her Position to Uplift Other Businesswomen," 8 July 2019 Just about every meter of every major climb will be densely populated with fans, many donning the national flag and colors of their favorite rider or dressed in crazy costumes. Paul Gittings, CNN, "An ill wind blows the battle for yellow at the Tour de France wide open," 5 July 2019 Monday’s revamped North American trade pact between the U.S., Canada and Mexico helped spur the latest leg of the Dow’s climb, its fourth... David Hodari, WSJ, "Dow Industrials Hit New Record," 2 Oct. 2018 During his climbs, Humboldt stopped periodically to take elevation readings with a fragile glass barometer and, with his botanist companion Aimé Bonpland, to record and collect plants. Tim Appenzeller, Science | AAAS, "Global warming has made iconic Andean peak unrecognizable," 11 Sep. 2019 Harwick, who was hired in 2016, will see his annual base salary climb to $313,578 for the upcoming school year. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach high school district staff to receive 4% pay increases following contract approvals," 22 Aug. 2019 Despite its steady climb, however, New England has won only once since the last time to two teams faced off, notching three draws and two losses in that time. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City set for must-win home match against New England Revolution," 5 Aug. 2019 Each year, 8,000 interns come to Congress but for some, Capitol Hill can be a tough climb. CBS News, "Non-profit takes on unpaid internships on the Hill: "I just want Congress to look like America"," 1 Aug. 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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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

21 Oct 2019

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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 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

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involving a confidence or trust

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