- 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.
Origin of climacteric
Examples from the Web for climacteric
The age at which menstruation ceases is called the menopause or climacteric.Woman
William J. Robinson
What is the climacteric period, or the change of life in a woman?Self Knowledge and Guide to Sex Instruction
T. W. Shannon
If he was right in fixing his climacteric at sixteen he might well have been dead.The Tower of Oblivion
The ensuing duet is intense and full of climacteric effects.Stars of the Opera
All that he did know was that a climacteric in his life had been attained.Martin Eden
- 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
- involving a crucial event or period
Word Origin and History for climacteric
c.1600 (adj.), 1620s (n.), from Latin climactericus, from Greek klimakterikos "of a critical period," from klimakter "rung of a ladder" (see climax (n.)). A critical stage in human life, a period supposed to be especially liable to change. By some, held to be the years that are multiples of 7 (7, 14, 21, etc.), by others only the odd multiples (7, 21, 35, etc.), and by still others the multiples of 9. The Great Climacteric was the 63rd year (7x9), supposed to be especially critical.
- The period in a man's life corresponding to female menopause, characterized by decreased libido.