Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[an-ti-klahy-maks] /ˌæn tɪˈklaɪ mæks/
an event, conclusion, statement, etc., that is far less important, powerful, or striking than expected.
a descent in power, quality, dignity, etc.; a disappointing, weak, or inglorious conclusion:
After serving as president, he may find life in retirement an anticlimax.
a noticeable or ludicrous descent from lofty ideas or expressions to banalities or commonplace remarks: We were amused by the anticlimax of the company's motto: “For God, for country, and for Acme Gasworks.”.
Origin of anticlimax
First recorded in 1720-30; anti- + climax Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for anticlimax
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Even as she bowed, there came a swift realization that she was facing no anticlimax.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • If there was to be much more of anything, it must have been of anticlimax.

  • After what he had been through, the Black Mass was necessarily an anticlimax.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • It would have been seeking an anticlimax to solicit any more in the building.

    The Promised Land Mary Antin
  • It was an anticlimax which made her almost hysterical to contemplate.

    Antony Gray,--Gardener Leslie Moore
  • There was anticlimax in Bear Cat after the guns had ceased to boom.

    The Fighting Edge William MacLeod Raine
  • But we began at the top; and when you have seen the best there is, everything else is anticlimax.

    Peking Dust Ellen N. La Motte
  • Yes, as you say, a Mamie is an anticlimax to one's best endeavours.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • Isabel stared back at her; the announcement was an anticlimax.

British Dictionary definitions for anticlimax


a disappointing or ineffective conclusion to a series of events, etc
a sudden change from a serious subject to one that is disappointing or ludicrous
(rhetoric) a descent in discourse from the significant or important to the trivial, inconsequential, etc
Derived Forms
anticlimactic (ˌæntɪklaɪˈmæktɪk) adjective
anticlimactically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for anticlimax

"the addition of a particular which suddenly lowers the effect," 1701, from anti- + climax (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for anticlimax

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for anticlimax

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for anticlimax