from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A decline viewed in disappointing contrast with a previous rise.
  • noun Something trivial or commonplace that concludes a series of significant events.
  • noun A sudden change in speaking or writing from the impressive or significant to the ludicrous or inconsequential, or an instance of this.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A break in the final crescendo or climax of a narrative, producing a disappointing end.

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

  • noun a disappointing decline after a previous rise
  • noun a change from a serious subject to a disappointing one


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • A genus of mollusks in the family Vitrinellidae, members of which are less than 2 mm long.

    William H. Dall, a scientist at the Smithsonian named the genus Climacia in 1903, not realizing that that name had been used for a genus of insects in 1869. Cuban scientists Aguayo and Borro replaced the name with Climacina in 1946, but that proved to be preoccupied by Climacina Gemmellaro, 1878. Pilsbry and McGinty then replaced that name with Anticlimax, saying "we are compelled to impose still another name upon these helpless midgets."

    December 13, 2008