One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Relating to or constituting a climacteric; = "climacteric"; especially relating to or constituting a grand climacteric. Now rare.
2Critical, decisive; subject to significant or frequent changes.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Thomas Fortescue (d. 1602), translator and alleged sorcerer. From classical Latin clīmactēricus climacteric + -al.
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