\ˈklīm \
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 \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for climb

Synonyms: Verb

arise, ascend, aspire, lift, mount, rise, soar, thrust, up, uprise, upthrust, upturn

Synonyms: Noun

ascension, ascent, rise, rising, soar

Antonyms: Verb

decline, descend, dip, drop, fall (off), plunge

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

Thinking the fire originated on the second floor, the commander ordered a ladder truck crew to cut a hole in the roof to let out the smoke, while Dickman and Machcinski climbed a ladder and got in through a second-story window. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "In a tragic loop, firefighters continue to die from preventable mistakes," 13 July 2018 For years, the children of Boynton Beach have happily ventured down the slides, climbed the stairs and glided on swings at the Civic Center Playground, 128 E. Ocean Ave. Kari Barnett,, "Playground equipment to be repurposed at Boynton Beach park," 10 July 2018 But the council is now considering another round of hikes at a particularly delicate time, with Seattle residents under pressure from taxes and housing costs that have climbed and with Durkan searching for a permanent new City Light general manager. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "‘Alarm bell’ over City Light spending as Seattle council considers rate increases," 9 July 2018 Trips from the entrance to where the team is trapped and back to the entrance take about 11 hours and include walking, wading, climbing and diving, the BBC reported. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "4 freed from Thailand cave, but rescuers face 'war with water and time' to get to others," 9 July 2018 In the top of the sixth, climbed the left field fence and robbed Adrian Beltre of a home run. George Stoia, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers JaCoby Jones: 'I'm the best defensive player' in MLB," 8 July 2018 The Turpin children were discovered, filthy and starving, after one girl, aged 17, climbed out of a window and raised the alarm. Dipesh Navsaria, Houston Chronicle, "What parents should know to prevent — and deal with — bug bites," 6 July 2018 About 100 feet above ground, the woman engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her. Jennifer Peltz And Jake Pearson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Protester climbs up Statue of Liberty in defense of border families," 5 July 2018 With temperatures climbing and a forecast high of 114, Phoenix is on its way to reaching near record-breaking heat. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "It's hot: Tips, tricks and advisories to get through excessive heat," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The story goes that the original owner of Villa Centinale was a priest or maybe a bishop, but not a very well-behaved one, so the chapel was put all the way up on the hill, accessible by a very steep climb, as a form of regular penance. Maya Singer, Vogue, "A Weekend Under the Tuscan Sun with Rosetta Getty at the Palio Horse Race," 3 July 2018 But once a year, 500 lucky participants get to tackle the world's longest staircase climb, the Niesen Treppenlauf. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "The World's Longest Staircase Is in Switzerland," 4 June 2018 Last season, Arsenal would've climbed from fifth to fourth and would've qualified for the Champions League, whilst their biggest climb and best chance for winning another Premier League title would've come in 2010/11., "Game of Two Halves: Comparing the Two Decades of Arsene Wenger's Premier League Tenure," 16 May 2018 So, being able to hike, being able to rock-climb, being able to spend time outside is really special for me. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Here’s How to Find the Cleanest Public Bathroom in Any Airport," 8 May 2018 Tatsuro Toyoda, the former Toyota Motor Corp. president who led the company’s climb to become one of the world’s top automakers, died Dec. 30. Yuri Kageyama, Washington Post, "Tatsuro Toyoda, former head of Toyota, dies at 88," 7 Jan. 2018 The park service was reviewing security videotape to try to determine how the woman was able to make the climb, Willis said. Washington Post, "Statue of Liberty climber unrepentant; Trump calls her clown," 7 July 2018 The woman and at least a half-dozen demonstrators who displayed the banner were arrested, while the climb forced thousands of visitors to leave the iconic American symbol on the nation's birthday. Jennifer Peltz And Jake Pearson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Protester climbs up Statue of Liberty in defense of border families," 5 July 2018 The park service was reviewing security videotape to try to determine how the woman made the climb, Willis said. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, ""I went as high as I could": Statue of Liberty climber cheered outside court," 5 July 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


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


see climb entry 1

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Statistics for climb

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

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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 \
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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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