American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A decline viewed in disappointing contrast with a previous rise: the anticlimax of a brilliant career.
- n. Something trivial or commonplace that concludes a series of significant events: After a week of dramatic negotiations, all that followed was anticlimax.
- n. A sudden descent in speaking or writing from the impressive or significant to the ludicrous or inconsequential, or an instance of it: "Waggish non-Yale men never seem weary of calling 'for God, for Country and for Yale' the outstanding single anticlimax in the English language” ( Time).
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A figure or fault of style, consisting in an abrupt descent from stronger to weaker expressions, or from the mention of more important to that of less important things: opposed to climax.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Rhet.) A sentence in which the ideas fall, or become less important and striking, at the close; -- the opposite of
climax. It produces a ridiculous effect.
- n. a disappointing decline after a previous rise
- n. a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one
“Any event stages or sponsored by them is gonna be an exercise in anticlimax, no matter what.”
“I think this is what you might call an anticlimax.”
“I can't agree at all that the finale was any kind of anticlimax though!”
“It was a disappointment to most of us, I think — a kind of anticlimax before we'd really gotten started.”
“Taking her tea seems a kind of anticlimax to last night," said Julius thoughtfully.”
“Their treatment by the prison officials was not ordinarily severe; even a warden or a guard could feel that clubbing and dark-celling would be a kind of anticlimax for a man sentenced for life.”
“Given the Greek parliament last week passed a vote of confidence, Mizuho credit analyst Anke Richter noted this week's test is likely to end positively as well, with the heated anticipation resulting in an anticlimax.”
“And before this anticlimax can become a moment of appealing self-deprecation, Mr. Jennings notes that he outperformed all other first-time contestants.”
“But it's a bit of an anticlimax to be honest as people are treading very carefully.”
“Oppegaard deftly aligns the inner fears and waning hopes of his well-rounded protagonists with the paranormal tremors, but the tension all but dies in the final act as the novel unspools into a disappointingly diffuse anticlimax.”
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