Definition of climactic in English:



  • Acting as a culmination or resolution to a series of events; forming an exciting climax.

    ‘the film's climactic scenes’
    • ‘To say whether she does would give away the details of a climactic scene which has to be seen to be believed.’
    • ‘All of this leads the dinosaur kids on a wild adventure that culminates in a climactic confrontation on top of a volcano.’
    • ‘And the final climactic emotional moment is cringe inducing rather than searingly moving.’
    • ‘She appeared in more than a few slasher movies, always the young heroine who outsmarts the killer in a climactic final chase scene.’
    • ‘In one climactic scene, he is publicly and sadistically humiliated by the king.’
    • ‘The World Cup is one coherent drama with developing conflict, mounting tension and a climactic resolution.’
    • ‘The climactic action sequence is nothing like anything that occurred in the first weeks of the Normandy invasion.’
    • ‘The fair's climactic event, the demolition derby, is drawing big crowds to the fairgrounds.’
    • ‘In another climactic event, Vronsky loses a horserace he is slated to win.’
    • ‘The climactic event, however, consists of tying the captive condor by its feet onto the back of a bull.’
    • ‘Likewise, walks to Calton Hill and the Water of Leith suggested climactic scenes and murder sites for various Rebus novels.’
    • ‘The lead-in to the climactic scene is nothing compared to the original.’
    • ‘Troy is at its best in the climactic fight scene between Hector and Achilles, and its aftermath.’
    • ‘Some of the best moments in the film include Napoleon's climactic dance scene that wins Pedro the high school election.’
    • ‘The world champions were empty after a dramatic, climactic finish that meant the trophy was shared.’
    • ‘This turns out not to be a casual device but, in the climactic scene, intrinsic to the film.’
    • ‘The climactic scene in which the local Mafiosi close in on the inspector is bone chilling and unforgettable.’
    • ‘The downside's that after such a climactic event, there's still an hour to go.’
    • ‘The drama hangs on an extremely shocking climactic event and our understanding of its causes.’
    • ‘That said, it doesn't entirely work dramatically, and the play falters as it reaches its climactic final moments.’
    final, culminating, ending, finishing, closing, concluding, ultimate
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Climactic and climatic are very similar in spelling and are often confused. Climactic means ‘forming a climax’, as in the film's climactic scene, while climatic means ‘relating to climate’, as in prevailing climatic conditions


Late 19th century: formed irregularly from climax + -ic, probably influenced by climacteric.