\ 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 As of Wednesday’s close, its global depositary receipts had climbed 17% from the offer price. Washington Post, "Shanghai’s Star May Fade Quickly," 18 Sep. 2019 The number of fatalities from extreme weather has climbed from 2,800 in the '80s to almost 5,200 this decade. NBC News, "Meet the Press - September 15, 2019," 15 Sep. 2019 Roglic had little trouble responding to the attacks by his rivals over the 118-mile ride with five categorized climbs from Arenas de San Pedro to a summit finish at Plataforma de los Gredos in the mountains west of Madrid., "For USA Basketball, summer ended Saturday with an 87-74 win over Poland in the seventh-place game at the World Cup in Beijing, the lowest finish ever by a US team in a major international tournament.," 15 Sep. 2019 The number of stopovers with overnight stays, entailing booking rooms at hotels, has climbed from 75 in 2016 to 208 last year and 220 this year through August, according to the Defense Department figures. David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, "Inside the Military’s 5-Star Layovers at a Trump Resort in Scotland," 12 Sep. 2019 By 2013, that number had climbed to sixty-seven per cent. Nicolas Niarchos, The New Yorker, "A Top Leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Political Opposition Returns," 12 Sep. 2019 The number of uninsured climbed from 25.6 million in 2017 to 27.5 million in 2018. Brian Blase, National Review, "New Insurance Numbers Show the Importance of the Trump Administration’s Health-Care Reforms," 11 Sep. 2019 This year the measure has climbed to unprecedented heights (see chart). The Economist, "Trade uncertainty is at its highest point on record," 10 Sep. 2019 The highs will climb under mostly sunny skies from around 81 degrees on Friday to 89 on Sunday. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Denver weather: Widely scattered afternoon rain showers Tuesday," 10 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun West Metro spokeswoman Ronda Scholting said the 9/11 climb at Red Rocks is the largest in the country and draws people and firefighters from across Colorado and some from other states. Judith Kohler, The Denver Post, "Coloradans to mark 18th anniversary of 9/11 attacks with ceremonies, tributes to fallen firefighters," 10 Sep. 2019 The poll also shows an uphill climb is ahead for a March ballot measure that would raise hotel taxes to expand the waterfront convention center, fight homelessness and boost road repairs. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Poll shows Gloria with big lead over Bry in 2020 race for San Diego mayor," 6 Sep. 2019 But the breathless climb at Porter Square is a true challenge, reserved for the fiercest few. Lauren Fox,, "For these people, every day is leg day at Porter Square Station," 10 July 2019 The climb is uphill, for both programs, after years of neglect. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: IU, Purdue are actually, finally trying to win in football," 5 June 2019 The climb to the top is short but steep, but the effort is worth it. Amy Alipio, National Geographic, "How to go beyond the dragons in Komodo National Park," 16 May 2019 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

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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for climb

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

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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

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).


meddlesome, informal, or unofficial

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