Meaning of climb in English:


Pronunciation /klʌɪm/

See synonyms for climb

Translate climb into Spanish


  • 1with object Go or come up a (slope or staircase); ascend.

    ‘we began to climb the hill’
    • ‘the air became colder as they climbed higher’
    • ‘he climbed up the steps slowly’
    • ‘The only way to reach the roof was by climbing the ladder that was inside the building itself, unless they climbed up the side.’
    • ‘Ewan climbed up the ladder quickly, used to doing so, as he'd been climbing the same ladder for over six years.’
    • ‘Red began to climb the staircase to the third tower of the east wing, known affectionately as the correlation wing, used mainly for social events, conferences and the like.’
    • ‘When I first arrived there, I climbed the stone staircase that wept in wintertime when it was cold and rainy, to the top floor.’
    • ‘He began to climb the ladder, and when he'd almost reached the top, he stumbled and fell.’
    • ‘We had just begun climbing the ghats; the view was beautiful and a cool breeze blew into my face.’
    • ‘The servants and live-in farm workers were not allowed to use the stairs but had to climb a ladder to get to their sleeping quarters.’
    • ‘The order to come down, however, never reached many of the men who had climbed the staircases of the North Tower.’
    • ‘His companion just rolled his eyes and began climbing the stairs, a bolt loaded into the small crossbow that he carried.’
    • ‘Alex began slowly climbing the stairs to his room.’
    • ‘She crossed the room and began climbing the stairs.’
    • ‘‘I'll make sure no one steals our seats,’ he flashed a grin at him, and he began climbing the stairs.’
    • ‘He secured the hatch, bending the locking mechanism with a solid heel kick, and began climbing the adjacent ladder.’
    • ‘I took the two glasses, one in each hand and began climbing the stairs.’
    • ‘Slowly, she began climbing the marble stairs, reflecting upon what had brought her to this point.’
    • ‘She let go of him and began climbing the ladder, glancing back now and then to make sure he was following.’
    • ‘As she climbed the stairs she began to hear a shower running.’
    • ‘‘I can always shoot the door open,’ she thought to herself as the began to climb the ladder.’
    • ‘I climbed the grand staircase to the nineteenth-century European paintings.’
    • ‘In the glow of a hand-lamp Adriana climbed a wooden staircase to her room.’
    ascend, mount, scale, scramble up, clamber up, shin up
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object (of an aircraft or the sun) go upwards.
      ‘we decided to climb to 6,000 feet’
      • ‘The sun climbs high and I decide to relax in the ‘Taj Garden Retreat’.’
      • ‘It is the nature of the place, as if the long shadows cast over the dale until the sun climbs over Tup Fell encourages hidden emotions and intrigues.’
      • ‘As the sun climbs higher into the sky, the buildings seem to glow and the black holes of their entrances deepen and become more mysterious.’
      • ‘The aircraft climbs with its nose pointed 45 degrees up.’
      • ‘The White Knight turbojet aircraft climbs over the Mojave desert with SpaceShipOne attached to its underbelly.’
      • ‘As the sun climbs higher and shines directly down on the earth, these thermal contrasts become more intense.’
      • ‘Aysa was carefully and slowly dressing as the sun was climbing.’
      • ‘The sun was climbing to its zenith, not yet noon, reflecting its light on the beautiful white washed walls of the buildings.’
      • ‘The sun was slowly climbing, but he would wait until it was shining right in his eyes before going to the kitchens to sneak something to eat.’
      • ‘The sun was climbing higher into the sky as the entourage made their way through the desert, the sand beginning to heat up.’
      • ‘Liz was sprawled on the bed, turned away from Brett as she watched the sun slowly climb over the horizon, signaling the beginning of a new day.’
      • ‘If both aircraft are climbing out at the same rate then everything is perfect but chances are there will be some errors.’
      • ‘In the Telegraph's dramatic account, the aircraft climbed above 6,000 feet on its own.’
      • ‘The powerplant provides an initial climb rate in excess of 3,300 feet per minute and the aircraft climbs to 18,000 feet in under six minutes.’
      • ‘The aircraft will climb to approximately 39,000 feet and release the launch vehicle and payload.’
      • ‘It was a tandem jump with a qualified inspector - but that didn't take away any of the raw fear he felt as the aeroplane climbed.’
      • ‘The sun was climbing steadily in the sky, a backdrop for the magnificent palace of Ipille.’
      • ‘The sun lazily climbed up the sky, using the clouds as ladders.’
      • ‘Finally, with full left rudder input, the pilot was able to right the aircraft and climb.’
      • ‘All too soon the helicopter is climbing the sky again.’
      rise, ascend, fly upwards, gain altitude
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object (of a road or track) slope upwards.
      ‘the track climbed steeply up a narrow, twisting valley’
      • ‘The break was a long gulley, and the road climbed precariously and steeply along its edge.’
      • ‘The bridleway climbs above the road and rejoins it further up at a gate.’
      • ‘The track climbs steeply towards the summit and lucky for us we had excellent weather and were able to see halfway across Tasmania from the top.’
      • ‘Just past the village of Pilar, the road climbs steeply and begins a wide curve.’
      • ‘The road went no higher, but a track climbed through the heather.’
      • ‘The broad path climbs steeply and follows a line of green/blue/white marker posts towards the broad south ridge of Beinn an t - Sidhein.’
      • ‘Join this track which climbs quite steeply and zigzags left continuing to climb above the valley.’
      • ‘Leaving the boardwalk, the track climbed through forest and past a small waterfall.’
      • ‘Hiking around the ranger station, the pair came across some ski tracks climbing up through the timber toward the north face.’
      • ‘The road climbed for more than a mile before becoming flatter and more level.’
      • ‘It is the highest rally in the series, the undulating roads climbing to more than 2700 metres on hillsides awash with cacti, pine trees and river crossings.’
      • ‘Their road climbed now, winding around a hill crowned with palaces of gleaming marble.’
      • ‘There are a few kilometres of olive groves before the road climbs up the hill on which Mevo Dotan is located.’
      • ‘The sun was still beating down, the road was still climbing, my body was still depleted, and yet it felt easier.’
      • ‘The path now climbed stiffly, switching back and forth on the steeper sections, otherwise crossing the face of the right hand valley wall.’
      • ‘A winding gravel path climbs up through what will be a dense forest (the planting is still immature) to a big, noisy waterfall.’
      • ‘The track climbs through birch trees and crosses a small gorge before dropping down to the shoreline again.’
      • ‘Turn left at the cottages and the lane climbs gradually and swings right past houses.’
      • ‘The path climbed modestly to Chunyang Hall, then descended to Shengui whose lovely wooden pavilion stands on a plinth in a three-sided courtyard.’
      • ‘This climbs steadily before veering E, traverses back below a steep section and turns right again to cross the E ridge of the hill.’
      slope upwards, rise, go uphill, incline upwards
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    3. 1.3(of a plant) grow up (a wall, tree, or trellis) by clinging with tendrils or by twining.
      ‘when ivy climbs a wall it infiltrates any crack’
      • ‘there were roses climbing up the walls’
      • ‘Vines and flowers climbed the trellis, turning our nook into a subtle and intriguing grotto.’
      • ‘I have a passion flower climbing a south-facing wall and it has flowered extremely well for several years.’
      • ‘For instant charm and color, frame a door or window with a vine climbing a string trellis.’
      • ‘His fingers twisting in it look like wild, exotic vines climbing a shimmering trellis.’
      • ‘Naturalistic sculptures of fecund blackberry vines randomly climbed the walls.’
      • ‘In their native forests, these heavy vines climb trees.’
      • ‘You can plant your vine to climb a trellis, arbor, pergola, or fence.’
      • ‘Ivy climbed the walls of the gardens, and rose trellises clung to everything, adorning the trees.’
      • ‘Shayla followed him outside where he let the spider go on a vine of ivy that climbed one wall of the house.’
      • ‘But it can also be a plant that stretches up and climbs the wall: a vine.’
      • ‘Half the bathroom was open to the sky with a fine screen mesh, shielding lush green plants climbing up the wall.’
      • ‘Ivy and other vines climbed up the walls, making the buildings look ancient… and they probably were.’
      • ‘Perennial vines can climb an arbor or trellis, or soften a fence.’
      • ‘The trees were the center piece, the flowers were all planted around them, and some vines were climbing up them, blooming beautifully.’
      • ‘Ours grows along horizontal wires and into the mass of other wall shrubs that exist on the wall and which include climbing hydrangea, ivy and Virginia creeper.’
      • ‘Well-kept flowerbeds lined the front of the house, a few vines climbing daintily up trellises nailed to the walls.’
      • ‘Wrought iron gates were placed here and there for elegance as well as function, and deadening ivy climbed part of the walls.’
    4. 1.4no object Increase in scale, value, or power.
      ‘deer numbers have been climbing steadily’
      • ‘the stock market climbed 23.9 points’
      • ‘Since hitting the floor last year, its value has steadily climbed again in line with a general recovery in the sector.’
      • ‘Passenger-train performance began to climb, increasing steadily into the 1990s.’
      • ‘The company's shares had climbed steadily in value over the preceding two months to a historic high at the end of the year.’
      • ‘The high-tech boom meant that people worked more, output increased, incomes climbed and tax revenues followed suit.’
      • ‘Speculation the Bank of Japan would attempt to weaken its currency increased after the yen climbed to a three-year high against the dollar last week.’
      • ‘Let's name the women who have climbed to power globally and look at whether they were mothers, or single.’
      • ‘This is when values are climbing fastest and sentiment is most bullish, which means the market is getting ready to reverse.’
      • ‘Unemployment is climbing and investors are increasingly concerned.’
      • ‘When they see home values climb, they feel less need to save for the future.’
      • ‘Furthermore, that could climb as marketers find increasingly more ways to humanise our pets.’
      • ‘Butter prices have also experienced sharp increases recently, climbing to $2.36 a pound.’
      • ‘In other words, if you opt to take a discount, you're gambling that if rates do climb, they only increase by a little so that you still beat the fixed offers.’
      • ‘As every hour passes, the death toll from the most powerful earthquake in four decades climbs steadily.’
      • ‘Of course this is a toll that has been steadily climbing.’
      • ‘By far the most common crime was larceny but the figures for violent crimes by girls also climbed steadily from the late 1990s onwards.’
      • ‘The number of confirmed cases over the week climbed steadily.’
      • ‘Why sell cheaply, if their petrol inventory is about to climb 10 per cent in value?’
      • ‘My efforts were rewarded by an increasing ability to climb to more advanced levels.’
      • ‘Part of the reason for the cancellation was that the cost of a helicopter had climbed from 12 million a piece to 59 million.’
      • ‘Everyone wants to climb upwards, leaving the past behind, indulging in new creature comforts.’
      increase, rise, go up, mount, escalate, shoot up, leap up, soar, spiral, rocket
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    5. 1.5Move to a higher position in (a chart or table)
      ‘the book climbed to number 18 on the New York Times bestseller list’
      • ‘The song also climbed the charts in North America and went on to become a worldwide hit for the duo.’
      • ‘We are still in the quarter finals of the Second Division Trophy but I want to see us climbing the table as well.’
      • ‘The CD features twelve tracks among them the popular Song of Love which is climbing the charts in the UK.’
      • ‘And I didn't realize that ‘It's Not Unusual’ was climbing the charts as fast as it was.’
      • ‘At the moment we keep on winning but make no move up the table, but all we can do is keep on winning and maybe we will start climbing the table.’
      • ‘The Matchbox 20 lead singer is climbing the charts on his own and he's live with us.’
      • ‘This result may not have done either side much good in climbing the table, but it did at least preserve harmony in a day-old marriage.’
      • ‘Independent schools in York are rapidly climbing the league tables, according to recent results.’
      • ‘The follow - up is climbing the charts although it is not due to be published until July 1 next year.’
      • ‘This was a welcome win for Celtic who are at last climbing the league table in the right direction.’
      • ‘It has been climbing the charts ever since the video was aired on music channels.’
      • ‘It will be a tough game, but one that we need to win if we are to start climbing the table.’
      • ‘This is fixable and there is an opportunity for us to climb the league table of UK regions and be more competitive.’
      • ‘The record was climbing the charts, I was in demand all over the place, whirlwind tours here there everywhere.’
      • ‘It has been garnering rave reviews and climbing the charts for months.’
      • ‘They appeared in the late '70s and rapidly climbed the charts, both in sales and in fans' rankings.’
      • ‘Like its football team, York is climbing another league table - but this time there is no cause for celebration.’
      • ‘The ode to the joys of motorway travel made the Düsseldorf quartet instant pop stars, climbing the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.’
      • ‘As the oil runs out, so nuclear power climbs back up the agenda.’
      • ‘The richly talented young Scot will put the accent on fitness in France in a determined effort to climb up the world rankings’
      advance, work one's way up, rise, move up, progress, make progress, make strides, get ahead
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  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction Move with effort, especially into or out of a confined space; clamber.

    ‘Howard started to climb out of the front seat’
    • ‘He never touched her: until one night, piqued that he hadn't made a move, she climbed over the bolster herself.’
    • ‘The cranks on the deck were moved off quickly, while crew members climbed aboard the massive transit.’
    • ‘Space Tower Danny climbs onto Spain's tallest skyscraper, currently under construction in Barcelona.’
    • ‘I can hear the bed squeak, see it move when she climbs over it.’
    • ‘He was climbing high over the space yard when Jonathan's voice crackled in his ear.’
    • ‘In a mad dash of effort, Noman climbed over the board like lightning.’
    • ‘The girl collected herself with obvious effort and climbed over the crushed door to stand beside the older woman.’
    • ‘He parked in front, seeing as how her parents parked in the driveway, and climbed out, moving up the walk.’
    • ‘When Bobby brought the team to a stop outside the O'Brien's farmhouse, Melinda moved quickly to climb from the wagon.’
    • ‘Emily bit her lower lip and nodded nervously; thinking he meant her to do it alone she moved to climb from his lap.’
    • ‘As he moved closer to climb inside he saw her face lit up by the moonlight.’
    • ‘In her frantic efforts to climb back onto the dinghy, her claws ripped a hole in the gunwale.’
    • ‘The Pandora survivors managed to climb aboard tenders and reach the safety of a sand cay.’
    • ‘Star pulled into her usual parking space and climbed out of her car.’
    • ‘If Neil and the boys knew then what they know now, they'd likely have been far less interested in climbing aboard and strapping in.’
    • ‘Only 190 people were seen climbing aboard, with many counted twice as they had bought return fares.’
    • ‘One snap later and he was free, climbing upwards and outwards, the sprite's dagger clutched between his teeth.’
    • ‘They had been forced to hide off the road twice since climbing out of the dung wagon the day before.’
    • ‘When the water showed no signs of slowing, they scaled a ledge and climbed over an air conditioning unit to the hotel roof.’
    • ‘Ben tried to sound stern, but couldn't help smiling at the ball of energy climbing onto his lap.’
    clamber, scramble
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    1. 2.1climb intoPut on (clothes)
      ‘he climbed into his suit’
      • ‘But she might just as well be expressing her thrill at climbing into clothes a size smaller than before.’
      • ‘They all begin climbing into old style pressure suits, to add an extra safety factor above their life belts.’
      • ‘I have no memory of climbing into my space suit and double-checking all the seals before I must have vented the airlock.’
      • ‘When you climb aboard it's a bit like climbing into your dinner jacket.’
      • ‘It was, according to Grant, a bit like contemplating climbing into a pair of wet swimming trunks.’
      put on, get dressed in, dress in, dress oneself in, pull on, climb into, get into, fling on, throw on, slip into, slip on, change into, rig oneself out in, clothe oneself in, array oneself in, deck oneself out in, accoutre oneself in, put round one's shoulders, put on one's head
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  • 1An ascent, especially of a mountain or hill, by climbing.

    ‘this walk involves a long moorland climb’
    • ‘how old will these graduates be before they begin a long climb out of debt?’
    • ‘It's a long climb, a brutal ascent by any standard, but that severity is the mountain's saving grace.’
    • ‘The easy walk was a shorter version of Jim's walk, and both walks finished with the climb to Hoad Hill and the Barrow Monument.’
    • ‘After a while we began a gentle ascent of the Little Homer Saddle, the only climb in the whole walk.’
    • ‘In mythology, the steep climb up the mountain is the seeking of the masculine spirit in ourselves (for men and women).’
    • ‘The mountain is one of the hardest climbs of the Tour de France.’
    • ‘The route for the trek is in the area of Glenkeen Upper with steep climbs over wild mountain tracks.’
    • ‘With this ascent, a climb I had done many a time before, I felt as though I were awakening every muscle in my body!’
    • ‘Instead of continuing their climb up the mountains, they walked through the valley.’
    • ‘On my second afternoon, I joined a friend who lives in Cape Town to do the climb of Table Mountain.’
    • ‘A climb up the mountain of Namsan just three miles out of town will leave you gasping for breath.’
    • ‘Day two brings an unbroken hike that includes climbs totalling some 2,500 ft.’
    • ‘The sun played hide and seek in the mountains as the climb increased towards Kausani.’
    • ‘Although it was by no means the steepest climb of the trek, it was still one of the most strenuous.’
    • ‘Is it the demanding climbs or long walks over rough ground that provide the thrill?’
    • ‘They are his logbooks chronicling his walks and climbs, some of them twice, to the summit of every Scottish mountain over 3,000 ft.’
    • ‘Until the final climb, nothing we did on the mountain compared with the demands of the Trail.’
    • ‘At Beamsley I turned right and began the steep climb up Howber Hill.’
    • ‘When I felt at least halfway awake, I began the tricky climb up the mountain of hay bales to bring down fresh ones.’
    • ‘At 83, he still loves the mountains and the challenge of the climb but expressed concern at how the expeditions now are so commercialised.’
    • ‘After a bit of easy walking passage a small climb up over a muddy choke gains a corner with some fine formations.’
    ascent, clamber
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    1. 1.1A mountain, hill, or slope that is climbed.
      ‘he was too full of alcohol to negotiate the climb safely’
      • ‘At the top of the grassy climb you will come across this monument.’
      • ‘This painting captures the height of the grassy climb, looking down over the white chalk cliffs to the water.’
    2. 1.2A recognized route up a mountain or cliff.
      ‘this may be the hardest rock climb in the world’
      • ‘From the lake we were able to see several sizable climbs in the broken rock circling the upper third of our target.’
      • ‘Along with the infamous Mont Ventoux, the climbs on the route today are the most feared monsters in France.’
      • ‘There are three fourth-category climbs on the route but these are unlikely to present any problems for the riders.’
      • ‘From the last of the three climbs, two routes descend to a short section of streamway.’
      • ‘Smith has been one of the climbers employed by the centre to set routes on all the climbs, and that's filled what might have been a relatively dull summer.’
      • ‘He spent ten grand and two months on the North Col route, the climb Norton attempted in 1924.’
      • ‘Not all rock gyms have crack climbs, but those that do offer the opportunity to practice jamming, an essential skill on outdoor cracks.’
      • ‘The surging ocean heaves itself up on the low rock platforms to threaten the belayer on some of the climbs.’
      • ‘On the typical Marangu route climb, spend four nights up the mountain.’
      • ‘The route included the climbs of Warton Crag, Arnside Knot and Clawthorpe Fell.’
      • ‘So in 1976 I started taking routes that were really climbs on the Continental Divide, and I'd take my skis.’
      • ‘It seemed to be a good climb to get used to the type of rock and crack climbing.’
      • ‘Racers can expect challenging climbs, rock strewn ridges, and fast, tricky descents.’
      • ‘We took the traditional clockwise route thereby having to climb down all the tricky climbs and getting wet towards the end rather than the beginning.’
      • ‘Although well trodden, the route was far from straightforward, with steep, snaking climbs.’
      • ‘There are some real beasties on the route tomorrow, though not as bad as the climbs over the weekend.’
      • ‘Steep climbs and high altitude mark the Machame Route, a little traveled but highly scenic trail to the top of Kilimanjaro.’
      • ‘Sprinkled with gruelling technical climbs, crazy downhill flings, and easy-rolling side hills, this trail is excellent for all levels of riders.’
      • ‘He decided to solo Green Gully and did fine until the last few feet of the climb.’
      • ‘By the time I got to the climbs above the 50 foot pit, I needed Paul's assistance to get up, and progress was pretty slow beyond that point.’
    3. 1.3An aircraft's flight upwards.
      ‘we levelled out from the climb at 600 feet’
      • ‘the rate of climb can be set by the pilot’
      • ‘Graham cleaned up the aircraft for single-engine climb and took the flight controls.’
      • ‘The take-off is flawless; a steep climb has the aircraft high by strip's end to avoid the possibility of ground-fire.’
      • ‘The lead aircraft coordinated a climb with the tower controller to hold over the airport at 2,500 feet.’
      • ‘After a few seconds - which seemed like hours - the aircraft started a shallow climb.’
      • ‘He correctly put the aircraft into a climb at the appropriate time, and release was also good.’
      • ‘Continuing to take-off with one engine failed requires pilots to make adjustments to the aircraft and the rate of climb to reflect the loss of power.’
      • ‘I then pulled out the pocket checklist for bird strikes, and my instructor called for a climb to 5,000 feet.’
      • ‘We started a cruise climb to 31,000 feet checking the winds as we went along.’
      • ‘This is particularly obvious in the Eleonora's falcon, which has an extreme climb rate for its size.’
      • ‘Also you pull in more than is desirable or necessary for the optimum climb rate when you're on the control bar.’
      • ‘Just for fun I tried to get an idea of what could be the maximum climb rate thermals on earth could provide.’
      • ‘The main requirements for the design of the Spitfire was that it had to have have eight guns and an excellent rate of climb.’
      • ‘It is capable of climb rates up to 10,000 feet per minute and can fly as high as 50,000 feet.’
      • ‘I think a comfortable climb rate for a paraglider from a ground tows is 500 fpm.’
      • ‘My actual climb rate while flying straight in lift was higher than my average climb rate in thermals.’
      • ‘As we stabilized our climb through 1,500 feet, I told my RIO the VDI was out.’
      • ‘Approach requested a climb to 2,000 feet and vectored me 90 degrees off the final bearing.’
      • ‘The vario measures altitude, temperature and rate of climb.’
      • ‘Within half an hour the winds calm down, as cu's form over the launch and pilots report getting good climb rates under the cu's.’
      • ‘At the end, I swoop up again and bank left, taking the aircraft in a steep climb over the surrounding hills.’
    4. 1.4A rise or increase in value, rank, or power.
      ‘an above-average climb in prices’
      • ‘We'll also see the value of the dollar climb in foreign markets.’
      • ‘Megalomania, in particular, often provides a strong motivation for the climb to centrality and power.’
      • ‘In 2002 the increase in wages was matched by the climb in the consumer price index of 30 percent.’
      • ‘It trades at a 40% discount to its book value, yet has prospects good enough to warrant a climb in its share price.’
      • ‘A popular assumption in recent commentary about the climb in the oil price is that it will ‘fuel inflation’ across the world's leading economies.’
      • ‘The climb in oil prices was driven by last year's upsurge in global demand.’
      • ‘Most in higher education would describe it as a slow but steady climb through the ranks.’
      • ‘The analog rate of climb/sink bar is just a less damped version of the digital rate of climb value.’
      • ‘The climb from poverty by a young woman unsure of herself is remarkable.’
      • ‘According to DCinemaToday, the growth rate of digital theaters worldwide continues its upward climb.’
      • ‘They conceived of these citizenships as stages in an upward climb toward an ever better democracy.’
      • ‘The Indian economy is so finely poised on the edge of a boom that it will take very little to start the upward climb again.’
      • ‘Even worse, the portion of net farm income attributable to direct government payments continues its upward climb after taking a year off.’
      • ‘Populations of striped bass on the East Coast, redfish in the Gulf of Mexico and king mackerel in Florida are all on an upward climb.’
      • ‘The world is a difficult place, and many tragedies have befallen mankind in its upward climb from savagery, some of them quite recently.’
      • ‘From a share price of less than $10 in 1993, the company's stock has made a steady climb upward.’
      • ‘He wants to stop her upward climb before she's the chief executive of a company that dumps toxic waste.’
      • ‘The past 10 years have seen a significant climb in cross-border traffic.’
      • ‘Jordon's insight into Moore's upward climb offers motivation for us all.’
      • ‘In another, a grasping mother and daughter are duped out of their upward social climb by an unscrupulous foreigner.’
      growth, rise, enlargement, expansion, extension, multiplication, elevation, swelling, inflation
      View synonyms


    be climbing the walls
    • Feel frustrated, helpless, and trapped.

      • ‘his job soon had him climbing the walls’
      • ‘It had been a mess and I was climbing the walls and was a little bit bitter.’
      • ‘These are very vulnerable children, they are not climbing the walls or anything like that, but they do need a lot of support.’
      • ‘‘It was a wrench leaving Gilbert at first but I was climbing the walls at home, I was anxious to come back to work,’ said Deirdre.’
      • ‘‘If you didn't have humour you would be climbing the walls,’ he says.’
      • ‘Or maybe your job just makes you feel like climbing the walls.’
      • ‘Kaezik's practically been climbing the walls since the test.’
      • ‘That's a whole lot better than the two weeks I spent at my parents' house, unable to drive and climbing the walls.’
      • ‘I picture myself losing control, freaking out, climbing the walls, but of course I never do.’
      • ‘I sulked for weeks, depressed in my dark room, practically climbing the walls.’
      • ‘I was bored so it made sense that Stevie was climbing the walls, even though he'd had a lot longer to get used to being without school or people.’
    have a mountain to climb
    • Be facing a very difficult task.

      ‘we have a mountain to climb, but I am looking forward to the challenge’
      • ‘‘Andrew has a mountain to climb, and he will be climbing it for the rest of his life,’ said Deborah.’
      • ‘We still have a mountain to climb to stop this happening but it is not insurmountable if there is democracy.’
      • ‘‘I know I have a mountain to climb before reversing this error, but I know I have to start somewhere,’ he said.’
      • ‘I have a mountain to climb, but I'll start tomorrow.’
      • ‘The Welsh regions have a mountain to climb after all losing in Europe this weekend, but the prospect of them scaling new heights are slim.’
      • ‘But daring though the raid is, they still have a mountain to climb to avoid the dreaded prospect of street fighting.’
      • ‘It's a crucial match for the Scottish side, who have a mountain to climb if they want to reach the group stages.’
      • ‘I longed to get a steady rhythm going and muttered impatiently that we had a mountain to climb.’
      • ‘No wonder credibility in politics has a mountain to climb!’
      • ‘Wicklow had a mountain to climb but the strength of the wind suggested that they could do it provided they got a few early scores.’

Phrasal Verbs

    climb down
    • Withdraw from a position taken up in argument or negotiation.

      ‘he was forced to climb down over the central package in the bill’
      • ‘Diageo stuck to its guns for a while but climbed down after being overwhelmed by the strength of opposition.’
      • ‘The protest ended peacefully after about an hour when the activists climbed down.’
      • ‘Some in the City believe HSH, not Barclays, will eventually have to climb down.’
      • ‘Mr Howells must climb down much further if his culture ministry is not to do lasting damage to English culture.’
      • ‘They went high profile on pay and they have now had to climb down because they are not able to appoint anybody.’
      • ‘It ensures that he will climb down only in his own good time, probably a long time.’
      • ‘But he'll be doing the world of journalism and free expression a great service if he climbs down from his threat to sue and takes aim with the best arrow in his quiver: Words.’
      • ‘Newsweek climbs down from the story today, sort of.’
      • ‘But the North has in the past raised tensions to attract attention or before climbing down to a compromise or concession.’
      • ‘You'll feel better going through with this than backing out and climbing down.’


Old English climban, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German klimmen, also to clay and cleave.