\ 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 Cases of the coronavirus have surged recently in Hong Kong, where residents have been forbidden to congregate in groups of more than two as the number of infected patients continues to climb. Washington Examiner, "Hong Kong leader postpones elections for a year, citing coronavirus fears," 31 July 2020 These lower-tier candidates have steep hills to climb, as fewer voters overall are considering them, and among these voters, a minority indicated a desire to hear more. CBS News, "CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the Election & Survey Unit," 30 July 2020 Meanwhile, deaths in the U.S. have begun to climb after falling for months. Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, "Coronavirus updates: Daily US death toll rising after falling for months; Vatican warns shipowners; Trump wears a mask," 12 July 2020 Things will begin to warm up again on Tuesday as highs start to climb back towards 90. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Hot and stormy: Northeast Ohio’s weekend weather forecast," 9 July 2020 Health systems in the neighboring states are overwhelmed and hospitals are at or nearing capacity as the number of cases and deaths continues to climb. Rafael Carranza, The Arizona Republic, "Deal reached to allow Arizona visitors to Puerto Peñasco after border residents block highway," 9 July 2020 More: Coronavirus cases are beginning to climb again after a steady decline. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "More than a dozen coronavirus cases linked to Playhouse Club in Romulus," 5 July 2020 As of writing this, new deaths per day have not begun to climb, but some hospitals’ intensive care units have recently reached full capacity. Melissa Hawkins, The Conversation, "The US isn’t in a second wave of coronavirus – the first wave never ended," 30 June 2020 The number of jobless Americans continues to climb. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Trump Retreats to His Hannity Bunker," 26 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Alabama’s other Heisman Trophy winner continued his climb in the top 10 with his third 1,000-yard rushing season. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Alabama Roots: Top 10 NFL Rushers," 12 July 2020 His climb mirrors that of another Virginia five-star recruit in OSU running back commit TreVeyon Henderson. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Tristan Leigh’s, 5-star 2021 OT, climb up the recruiting has made him one of Ohio State football’s top targets: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup," 7 July 2020 Investors had grown more cautious recently following a rebound that saw the S&P 500 climb as much as 44 percent from the depths of the sell-off in March. Washington Post, "The S&P 500 index rose 1.5 percent in the four-day trading week. The Dow Jones industrial average increased 0.3 percent to 25,827. The Nasdaq composite index gained 1.9 percent to close at a record. Markets were closed Friday in observance of Independence Day.," 2 July 2020 In addition to a higher cruising speed, a bigger motor will usually get a faster climb rate, and, in most cases, a shorter takeoff roll. Lee H. Goldberg, Ars Technica, "Living the Top Gun dream, on a budget," 15 June 2020 This gives them the proper speeds for critical decisions and when to raise the nose and start the climb. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: Do pilots notice a difference in takeoff for near-empty planes versus full flights?," 6 June 2020 At the same time states like Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and Arizona are now undergoing an exponential climb in virus cases after a relatively slow spring. Popular Science, "The racial disparities in COVID cases are even more striking than we thought," 6 July 2020 Ghaly said this week as cases in the county climb, there soon may not be enough beds for the patients who will need hospitalization. Christina Maxouris, CNN, "'It's been an exponential increase.' Hospitals prepare for another surge as Covid-19 cases climb," 2 July 2020 The second stage, meanwhile, fired up its single engine to continue the climb to space. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX launches GPS navigation satellite for U.S. Space Force," 30 June 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

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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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