[ klahy-mak-ter-ik, klahy-mak-ter-ik ]
/ klaɪˈmæk tər ɪk, ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪk /


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-kuh l] /ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪ kəl/. critical; crucial.


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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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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.