\ 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 But in mid-October, cases at the small Vermont school started to climb. Arkansas Online, "U.S. colleges mull new virus protocols for students' return," 27 Nov. 2020 Together, a 4-pack can reach to just over 10 feet high, though someone could add additional sticks to climb higher. Field & Stream, "The Deer Hunter’s Holiday Gift Guide," 23 Nov. 2020 Many analysts along Wall Street are still optimistic the market can climb higher and set more records amid hope a vaccine may be coming for COVID-19. Janet Mcconnaughey And Jim Mustian, Star Tribune, "Calls for independent investigation of Black teen's death," 12 Nov. 2020 The Wolverines, now in need of a season saver, aren’t interested in letting the Hoosiers climb any higher. Eddie Timanus, USA TODAY, "These five games will have the biggest impact on College Football Playoff in Week 10," 6 Nov. 2020 Saturday and next Sunday also are when high temperatures are forecast to climb no higher than the upper 40s, marking the first noticeably colder days of the season. oregonlive, "Portland area forecast: Showers on Sunday afternoon, high of 64," 18 Oct. 2020 Other public health experts warned those numbers will climb even higher as the weather gets colder. NBC News, "With the holidays coming, Covid cases likely to surge during 'six weeks of superspreader events'," 16 Oct. 2020 At Death or Glory in Delray Beach, closed off and on since the pandemic begin in March, Annie Blake is relieved her restaurant-bar can stay open later, since liquor sales climb higher in the late-night hours. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "'It’s the Wild West’: South Florida restaurants confused how to enforce COVID-19 rules during Phase 3," 28 Sep. 2020 In fact, the Sell-Side Indicator says equities could climb even higher than 10%. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Investors catch TikTok mania as global markets climb," 4 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Given that all in-person recruiting contact has been banned by the NCAA since mid-March, new Pac-12 coaches had a steep uphill climb to even fill out a class, much less compete for the conference crown. oregonlive, "Pac-12 Conference football recruiting grades: Oregon Ducks continue soaring; Oregon State Beavers take step forward," 17 Nov. 2020 Discounting many of the 3,300 other Max orders still on the books could make Boeing's total cost of its 737 Max debacle climb even higher, perhaps past the $68 billion price tag of Deepwater Horizon. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Boeing's 737 Max debacle could be the most expensive corporate blunder ever," 17 Nov. 2020 The seven-day average has increased more than nine-fold since Sept. 1, when cases were starting their upward climb in Wisconsin. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin reports nearly 4,400 new COVID-19 cases, over 70,000 active infections Monday," 16 Nov. 2020 Dermot Givens, a political consultant who lives in the district, believes Yoo has an uphill climb. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, "With L.A. in a budget crisis, two council candidates offer very different credentials," 1 Nov. 2020 Snowbowl Road makes a winding climb up the slopes to a major ski area, offering multiple runs during winter and a scenic chair lift ride in warmer months. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, "Flagstaff to Grand Canyon is one of Arizona's most gorgeous drives. Here's how to do it," 9 Oct. 2020 If the Broncos keep four tight ends, Fort is facing a tough climb. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Mailbag: Should receiver KJ Hamler’s dropped passes be concerning as he enters NFL?," 5 May 2020 Also seeing a concerning and persistent upward climb is the average positivity rate, which hit a new high of 32% Thursday. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'COVID rages on stronger than ever': Wisconsin reports 5,900 new cases for second day in a row," 5 Nov. 2020 Is Smyly’s long climb back from missing the 2017-18 seasons complete? Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "MLB free agents: Ranking the 81 best players in the 2020-2021 class," 2 Nov. 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

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Climb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 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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