\ 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

clamber, scrabble, scramble, swarm

Synonyms: Noun

ascension, ascent, rise, rising, soar

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

AbbVie, a drugmaker, climbed 1.3% and Boeing rose 1.1%. Washington Post, "US stocks edge higher following mixed jobs report," 6 Sep. 2019 That pressure resulted in three goals within the first half hour of play, digging a deep hole that the team could never quite climb out. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Three things we learned from Orlando City’s 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes," 3 Sep. 2019 Authorities fear the death toll could climb as high as 34. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Hurricane Dorian batters Bahamas, boat fire kills 25 and Simone Biles speaks out: The Morning Rundown," 3 Sep. 2019 Yearly inflation is typically around 2 percent but tends to run hotter in San Diego due to rapidly climbing housing prices. Brittany Meiling, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Is your paycheck keeping up with San Diego’s inflation?," 2 Sep. 2019 But the uphill climb the Broncos faced was just another example of the type of adversity this team faced leading up to kickoff. Matt Murschel,, "Boise State captures thriller at FSU after rough trip | Commentary," 1 Sep. 2019 The hurricane center’s intensity forecast shows Dorian’s winds possibly climbing as high as 155 mph. Leigh Morgan, al, "Hurricane Dorian 2019 track update: Tropical storm watch issued for parts of Florida coast," 31 Aug. 2019 Peter was getting information from scouts who move around the perimeter of the protests, climbing onto rooftops to track the police. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, "Bravery and Nihilism Amid the Protests in Hong Kong," 31 Aug. 2019 Willett said rents are climbing faster for low-rise and garden-style apartments, for example, than for more expensive units in new mid-rises and towers. Elliot Njus, oregonlive, "Portland-area rents are growing faster," 30 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The new fence incorporates anti-climb and intrusion detection technology and is designed to mitigate security threats, the Park Service said. Michael E. Ruane, Washington Post, "Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House to close for fence construction," 20 Aug. 2019 Uphill climb The Lady Mustangs had several goals heading into the 2018-19 season. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "With core group, Cy Ranch softball’s Sarah Mueller excited about challenge ahead," 15 Aug. 2019 That philosophy was tested the day after Bascha’s climb, when officers and members of the Santa Clara County Mobile Crisis Response Team responded to a call about a man who had climbed a wall surrounding the open plaza at San Jose City Hall. Leonardo Castañeda, The Mercury News, "‘I need to get him down:’ Bystander recounts climbing San Jose construction crane to prevent suicide attempt," 14 Aug. 2019 Sunday's 15th stage from Limoux to Foix Prat d'Albis is another draining mountain climb and even longer at 185 kilometers (115 miles). Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Tour de France: Alaphilippe extends lead as Frenchmen shine in Pyrenees," 20 July 2019 Suffice to say that they’ve been stuck in neutral over the last two cycles, seeing their vote total climb from 53.8% and 54.1 in 2017, respectively, to just 59.1 and 59.5 in ’19. Jon Tayler,, "Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions Are Heading for a Bleak Period," 19 July 2019 Nielsen, who by this time was homeland security secretary, at one point resorted to taking a portable video player to the Oval Office so Trump could watch footage of people trying (and failing) to scale a wall with the anti-climb feature. Jason Zengerle, New York Times, "How America Got to ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Immigration: The Inside Story," 16 July 2019 Mark Jenkins wrote about Myanmar’s toughest mountain climb for the September 2015 issue. Mark Jenkins, National Geographic, "When wildfires break out, this elite team of ‘smokejumpers’ parachute in," 12 June 2019 But now the car has been taken into the Porsche Museum's custody and will be shown in public for the first time at the 2019 Gaisberg hill-climb. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "The Porsche Boxster Bergspyder Is an Awesome One-Seater That Was Almost Built for Real," 3 June 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

9 Sep 2019

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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 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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