• synonyms


See more synonyms for anticlimax on Thesaurus.com
  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.”
Show More

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


Examples from the Web for anticlimax

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for anticlimax


  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
Show More
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


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

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper