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cliff

[klif]
See more synonyms for cliff on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a high steep face of a rock.
  2. 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.
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Origin of cliff

before 900; Middle English clif, Old English, cognate with Dutch, Low German, Old Norse klif
Related formscliff·like, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for cliff on Thesaurus.com
1. bluff, promontory, ledge, crag.

Cliff

[klif]
noun
  1. a male given name, form of Clifford or Clifton.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cliff

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • They were at the foot of a cliff, over which the animal had probably fallen.

    A Woman Tenderfoot

    Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson


British Dictionary definitions for cliff

cliff

noun
  1. a steep high rock face, esp one that runs along the seashore and has the strata exposed
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Derived Formscliffy, adjective

Word Origin

Old English clif; related to Old Norse kleif, Middle Low German klēf, Dutch klif; see cleave ²
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 cliff

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper