- a high steep face of a rock.
- a critical point or situation beyond which something bad or undesirable may occur: The committee is right up to the cliff with no deal in sight.
Origin of cliff
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for cliff
This is where I think the argument against me falls off the cliff.Seriously, Democrats: You’re Done in Dixie
December 10, 2014
Would I like to tell half the people I work with to go jump off a cliff?The Hot Designer Who Hates Fashion: VK Nagrani Triumphs His Own Way
December 1, 2014
We first met Hajji Zalwar Khan over tea and lunch in the Pech Valley in a house clinging to a cliff high above the valley floor.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
The probe appears to be sitting at the bottom of a "cliff" on the comet, but beyond that it's hard to tell.Earthlings, We Landed on a Comet
Matthew R. Francis
November 12, 2014
The young goslings' first major life event is to cliff dive down to their parents, as was captured here by BBC cameras.Barnacle Gosling’s Death-Defying Cliff Dive
Alex Chancey, The Daily Beast Video
October 28, 2014
And then they came to the edge of the cliff, where the heel marks ended.
Nothing showed on the rocks, nothing showed on the face of the cliff.
In the meantime someone had picked up the trail to the cliff, and Dozier followed it.
She looked over the cliff down an appalling depth of hundreds of feet.Her Father's Daughter
They were at the foot of a cliff, over which the animal had probably fallen.A Woman Tenderfoot
Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson
- a steep high rock face, esp one that runs along the seashore and has the strata exposed
Word Origin and History for cliff
Old English clif "rock, promontory, steep slope," from Proto-Germanic *kliban (cf. Old Saxon clif, Old Norse klif, Middle Dutch klippe, Dutch klip, Old High German klep, German Klippe "cliff, promontory, steep rock").
Clift has been a variant spelling since 15c. and was common in early Modern English, influenced by or merged with clift, a variant of cleft (n.). Cliff-dweller first attested 1889, American English.