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anticlimax

[an-ti-klahy-maks]
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noun
  1. an event, conclusion, statement, etc., that is far less important, powerful, or striking than expected.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
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Origin of anticlimax

First recorded in 1720–30; anti- + climax
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for anticlimax

letdown, decline, comedown, descent, drop, slump, disappointment, bathos

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British Dictionary definitions for anticlimax

anticlimax

noun
  1. a disappointing or ineffective conclusion to a series of events, etc
  2. a sudden change from a serious subject to one that is disappointing or ludicrous
  3. rhetoric a descent in discourse from the significant or important to the trivial, inconsequential, etc
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Derived Formsanticlimactic (ˌæntɪklaɪˈmæktɪk), adjectiveanticlimactically, 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

Word Origin and History for anticlimax

n.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper