- a melodramatic or adventure serial in which each installment ends in suspense in order to interest the reader or viewer in the next installment.
- a single installment in such a serial.
- a suspenseful movie, novel, etc.
- the suspenseful ending itself.
- a situation or contest of which the outcome is suspensefully uncertain up to the very last moment: The game was a cliffhanger, but our team finally won.
Origin of cliffhanger
An Americanism dating back to 1935–40
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- a situation of imminent disaster usually occurring at the end of each episode of a serialized film
- the serialized film itself
- a situation that is dramatic or uncertain
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-hanger
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper