\ 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.

Other Words from climb


climbable \ ˈklī-​mə-​bəl How to pronounce climb (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 The rule of thumb: investor risk-appetite tends to go down as rates climb. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 23 Nov. 2021 Germany is mulling more social restrictions and has not ruled out lockdowns as cases climb with the onset of colder weather. Washington Post, 23 Nov. 2021 Sunday will be mostly cloudy and more comfortable as high temperatures climb into the 50s., 20 Nov. 2021 Quartz spoke with several financial experts about ways—from stocks to homes to investing in yourself—to keep your savings intact as prices climb. John Detrixhe, Quartz, 19 Nov. 2021 Inflation is heating up in the headlines as prices climb higher for things like bacon, rent, chicken wings, gas at the pump and both new and used cars and trucks. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 17 Nov. 2021 Gotland Island are becoming less ornamented as temperatures climb. Rebecca Giggs, The Atlantic, 9 Nov. 2021 Now that the eviction moratoriums are over, constables are even busier as the number of evictions and writs climb., 8 Nov. 2021 Investors shouldn’t worry just yet, however, as the security could quickly climb back toward that high, according to data collected by Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. Schaeffer's Investment Research, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It's clearly been a bit of a climb for him out of last season's struggles, but to me, even going back to The Bahamas, he's looked more assertive and more vocal. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 19 Nov. 2021 But a statewide race in Illinois could be just as much of an uphill climb. Melanie Zanona, CNN, 4 Nov. 2021 Regardless of the arduous nature of the climb, Mitchell wants more, as presumably do his teammates. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Sep. 2021 The second was about ten minutes later, at the top of a climb. The New Yorker, 23 Sep. 2021 While men's basketball appears to be on the rebound after UCLA made the Final Four, football faces more of an uphill climb. Joe Reedy, Star Tribune, 27 July 2021 While a 700-foot stretch near the summit is rated at a 13% grade, most of the climb is a rhythmic push at a 5% grade. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 July 2021 Seat must be capable of a speed of 100 knots, a rate of climb of 1000 feet per minute and a range of about 50 miles. Kevin V. Brown, Popular Mechanics, 17 June 2021 Dean tells the story of the climb from the perspective of each member of the expedition. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 5 June 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near climb

climax basket


climb down

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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Climb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on climb

Nglish: Translation of climb for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of climb for Arabic Speakers


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