[ klahy-mak-ter-ik, klahy-mak-ter-ik ]
/ klaɪˈmæk tər ɪk, ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪk /
Save This Word!


Physiology. a period of decrease of reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in the menopause.
any critical period.
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 ).
the period of maximum respiration in a fruit, during which it becomes fully ripened.


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



Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for climacteric

British Dictionary definitions for climacteric

/ (klaɪˈmæktərɪk, ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk) /


a critical event or period
another name for menopause
the period in the life of a man corresponding to the menopause, chiefly characterized by diminished sexual activity
botany the period during which certain fruits, such as apples, ripen, marked by a rise in the rate of respiration

adjective Also: climacterical (ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪkəl)

involving a crucial event or period

Derived forms of climacteric

climacterically, adverb

Word Origin for climacteric

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

Medical definitions for climacteric

[ klī-măktər-ĭk, klī′măk-tĕrĭk ]


The period in a man's life corresponding to female menopause, characterized by decreased libido.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.