[ klahy-maks ]
See synonyms for climax on
  1. the highest or most intense point in the development or resolution of something; culmination: His career reached its climax when he was elected president.

  2. (in a dramatic or literary work) a decisive moment that is of maximum intensity or is a major turning point in a plot.

  1. Rhetoric.

    • a figure consisting of a series of related ideas so arranged that each surpasses the preceding in force or intensity.

    • the last term or member of this figure.

  2. an orgasm.

  3. Ecology. the stable and self-perpetuating end stage in the ecological succession or evolution of a plant and animal community.

verb (used with or without object)
  1. to bring to or reach a climax.

Origin of climax

First recorded in 1580–90; from Late Latin, from Greek klîmax “ladder,” akin to klī́nein “to lean”

Other words for climax

Other words from climax

  • hy·per·cli·max, noun
  • un·cli·maxed, adjective

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

How to use climax in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for climax


/ (ˈklaɪmæks) /

  1. the most intense or highest point of an experience or of a series of events: the party was the climax of the week

  2. a decisive moment in a dramatic or other work

  1. a rhetorical device by which a series of sentences, clauses, or phrases are arranged in order of increasing intensity

  2. ecology the stage in the development of a community during which it remains stable under the prevailing environmental conditions

  3. Also called: sexual climax (esp in referring to women) another word for orgasm

  1. to reach or bring to a climax

Origin of climax

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek klimax ladder

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