[ klahy-mak-ter-ik, klahy-mak-ter-ik ]
See synonyms for climacteric on
  1. Physiology. a period of decrease of reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in the menopause.

  2. any critical period.

  1. 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 ).

  2. the period of maximum respiration in a fruit, during which it becomes fully ripened.

  1. Also cli·mac·ter·i·cal [klahy-mak-ter-i-kuhl]. /ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪ kəl/. 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

Other words from climacteric

  • cli·mac·ter·i·cal·ly, adverb

Words Nearby climacteric Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use climacteric in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for climacteric


/ (klaɪˈmæktərɪk, ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk) /

  1. a critical event or period

  2. another name for menopause

  1. the period in the life of a man corresponding to the menopause, chiefly characterized by diminished sexual activity

  2. botany the period during which certain fruits, such as apples, ripen, marked by a rise in the rate of respiration

adjectiveAlso: climacterical (ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪkəl)
  1. involving a crucial event or period

Origin of climacteric

C16: from Latin clīmactēricus, from Greek klimaktērikos, from klimakter rung of a ladder, from klimax ladder; see climax

Derived forms of climacteric

  • climacterically, 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