from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To move upward on or mount, especially by using the hands and feet or the feet alone; ascend: climb a mountain; climbed the stairs.
  • transitive v. To grow in an upward direction on or over: ivy climbing the walls.
  • intransitive v. To move oneself upward, especially by using the hands and feet.
  • intransitive v. To rise slowly, steadily, or effortfully; ascend. See Synonyms at rise.
  • intransitive v. To move in a specified direction by using the hands and feet: climbed down the ladder; climbed out the window.
  • intransitive v. To slant or slope upward: The road climbs steeply to the top.
  • intransitive v. To engage in the activity or sport of mountain climbing.
  • intransitive v. To grow in an upward direction, as some plants do, often by means of twining stems or tendrils.
  • n. An act of climbing; an ascent: a long, exhausting climb to the top.
  • n. A place to be climbed: The face of the cliff was a steep climb.
  • idiom climb the walls To be anxious or frantic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To ascend; rise; to go up.
  • v. To mount; to move upwards on.
  • v. To scale; to get to the top of something.
  • v. To move (especially up and down something) by gripping with the hands and using the feet.
  • v. to practise the sport of climbing
  • v. to jump high
  • v. To move to a higher position on the social ladder.
  • v. Of plants, to grow upwards by clinging to something.
  • n. An act of climbing.
  • n. The act of getting to somewhere more elevated.
  • n. An upwards struggle

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of one who climbs; ascent by climbing.
  • intransitive v. To ascend or mount laboriously, esp. by use of the hands and feet.
  • intransitive v. To ascend as if with effort; to rise to a higher point.
  • intransitive v. To ascend or creep upward by twining about a support, or by attaching itself by tendrils, rootlets, etc., to a support or upright surface.
  • transitive v. To ascend, as by means of the hands and feet, or laboriously or slowly; to mount.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mount or ascend; especially, ascend by means of both the hands and the feet.
  • Hence Figuratively, to rise slowly as if by climbing; ascend; rise.
  • Specifically, of plants, to ascend by means of tendrils or adhesive fibers, or by twining the stem or leaf-stalk round a support, as ivy and honeysuckle.
  • To go up on or surmount, especially by the use of both the hands and feet.
  • Hence Figuratively, to ascend or mount as if by climbing.
  • To attain as if by climbing; achieve slowly or with effort.
  • n. A climbing; an ascent by climbing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an event that involves rising to a higher point (as in altitude or temperature or intensity etc.)
  • n. the act of climbing something
  • v. move with difficulty, by grasping
  • v. go up or advance
  • n. an upward slope or grade (as in a road)
  • v. slope upward
  • v. improve one's social status
  • v. go upward with gradual or continuous progress
  • v. increase in value or to a higher point


Middle English climben, from Old English climban.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English climben, from Old English climban ("to climb"), from Proto-Germanic *klimbanan (“to climb, go up by clinging”), believed to be a nasalised variant of Proto-Germanic *klibanan, *klibajanan (“to stick, cleave”), from Proto-Indo-European *gley- (“to stick”). Cognate with Dutch klimmen ("to climb"), German klimmen ("to climb"), Old Norse klembra ("to squeeze"), Icelandic klifra ("to climb"). Related to clamber. See also clay, glue. (Wiktionary)


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