: a very steep, vertical, or overhanging face of rock, earth, or ice : precipice
cliffy adjective

Example Sentences

Standing at the edge of the cliff, we watched the waves crash on the shore far below. rock climbers scaling steep cliffs
Recent Examples on the Web Ward risks his life to save his daughter, getting shot three times by Ryan before charging him and sending them both careening over a cliff. Brian Moylan, Men's Health, 24 Feb. 2023 Aerial view of a Tesla that plunged over a cliff in San Mateo County. David K. Li, NBC News, 30 Jan. 2023 Troopers were dispatched late Monday morning to a call of a vehicle that had gone over a cliff on Highway 1, about 15-20 miles south of San Francisco. Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY, 5 Jan. 2023 The passersby by looked over the cliff and noticed what appeared to be a body. Carol Robinson |, al, 4 Jan. 2023 Four people, including two children, are in critical condition after a Tesla they were fell 250 feet over a cliff known as the Devil's Slide in California. Charmaine Patterson, Peoplemag, 2 Jan. 2023 Cruise first jumped out of a helicopter over the cliff to practice, before attempting the full stunt for the cameras. CBS News, 21 Dec. 2022 The sub, which hailed from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, had come to observe not just one octopus but the many Graneledone boreopacifica like her known to cling to this sea cliff. Sabrina Imbler, The Atlantic, 5 Dec. 2022 This Cohn Restaurant Group restaurant is perched on a sea cliff just north of Oceanside Pier. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cliff.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English clif, from Old English; akin to Old High German klep cliff, Old Norse klif

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cliff was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near cliff

Cite this Entry

“Cliff.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a high steep surface of rock, earth, or ice

More from Merriam-Webster on cliff

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