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grand climacteric

See under climacteric (def 3).


[klahy-mak-ter-ik, klahy-mak-ter-ik] /klaɪˈmæk tər ɪk, ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪk/
Physiology. a period of decrease of reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in the menopause.
any critical period.
a year in which important changes in health, fortune, etc., are held by some theories to occur, as one's sixty-third year (grand climacteric)
the period of maximum respiration in a fruit, during which it becomes fully ripened.
Also, climacterical
[klahy-mak-ter-i-kuh l] /ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA)
. critical; crucial.
Origin of climacteric
1595-1605; < Latin clīmactēricus < Greek klīmaktērikós (klīmaktḗr rung of a ladder, critical point in life, equivalent to klīmak-, stem of klîmax (see climax) + -tēr noun suffix) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
climacterically, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for grand climacteric
Historical Examples
  • The effects on the character of this 'grand climacteric' are often marked.

    The Physical Life of Woman: Dr. George H Napheys
  • Sixty-three years old,—just the year of the grand climacteric.

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • He is now three-and-thirty, which is the grand climacteric of a young drunkard.

    Isaac Bickerstaff Richard Steele
  • And the grand climacteric of the Ancients at nine times seven 63.

  • I am now in my grand climacteric, and shall not complete it.

    The Wits and Beaux of Society Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton
  • He presently began asking certain questions about the grand climacteric, which eventful period of life he was fast approaching.

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The next year , in which Cato came upon the stage, was the grand climacteric of Addison's reputation.

  • It was a grand climacteric in the life of humanity--an epoch in the moral and religious history of the world.

    Christianity and Greek Philosophy Benjamin Franklin Cocker
  • This happened in the depth of winter, when I was in my grand climacteric, and had just recovered of a dangerous disease.

  • Physicians speak in a physiological sense of the grand climacteric of a man's age.

    How to See a Play Richard Burton
British Dictionary definitions for grand climacteric


/klaɪˈmæktərɪk; ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk/
a critical event or period
another name for menopause
the period in the life of a man corresponding to the menopause, chiefly characterized by diminished sexual activity
(botany) the period during which certain fruits, such as apples, ripen, marked by a rise in the rate of respiration
involving a crucial event or period
Derived Forms
climacterically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin clīmactēricus, from Greek klimaktērikos, from klimakter rung of a ladder, from klimax ladder; see climax
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
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Word Origin and History for grand climacteric


c.1600 (adj.), 1620s (n.), from Latin climactericus, from Greek klimakterikos "of a critical period," from klimakter "rung of a ladder" (see climax (n.)). A critical stage in human life, a period supposed to be especially liable to change. By some, held to be the years that are multiples of 7 (7, 14, 21, etc.), by others only the odd multiples (7, 21, 35, etc.), and by still others the multiples of 9. The Great Climacteric was the 63rd year (7x9), supposed to be especially critical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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grand climacteric in Medicine

climacteric cli·mac·ter·ic (klī-māk'tər-ĭk, klī'māk-těr'ĭk)

  1. A period of life characterized by physiological and psychic change that marks the end of the reproductive capacity of women and terminates with the completion of menopause.

  2. A corresponding period sometimes occurring in men that may be marked by a reduction in sexual activity, although fertility is retained.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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