Definition of clamber in English:



  • Climb, move, or get in or out of something in an awkward and laborious way, typically using both hands and feet.

    ‘I clambered out of the trench’
    • ‘I travelled by foot, by hitch-hiking and by clambering onto the wagons of freight trains.’
    • ‘After climbing a fire escape to the first floor, he clambered onto the roof on a set of trade ladders that had been left there.’
    • ‘They moved about a three hundred feet past the deer before they clambered down again.’
    • ‘Its two back seat occupants clambered out through the car's shattered rear window and ran off.’
    • ‘She clambered onto her feet, tidying up the bathroom as fast as she could.’
    • ‘Each time, with undue fuss, he clambered to his feet and returned to the fray.’
    • ‘She managed to struggle free from the car and the suspect clambered into the driver's seat and drove off.’
    • ‘At the foot of the falls, we clambered out and up, past cascades and pools to the top.’
    • ‘As soon as her eyes met mine she looked away, then after that we all clambered out of the car.’
    • ‘We finally reached the edge of the deck, where other women and children were clambering aboard the small, slightly rickety looking lifeboat.’
    • ‘I ventured on to the Danube's east bank and clambered aboard a trolleybus bound for City Park.’
    • ‘He worried and she shrugged in return, clambering to her feet.’
    • ‘I sighed, then clambered to my feet at a more sedate pace and gathered up my stuff.’
    • ‘Youths were clambering over barbed wire fences, climbing through skylight windows and running amok in the dark.’
    • ‘Phillips, 31, remembers crawling through an exit, climbing over a fence and then clambering across a roof beam.’
    • ‘She leapt to her feet and jumped up behind the man, clambering onto his shoulders, her arms reaching for the sky.’
    • ‘I shouted back, clambering to my feet and tying my hair with the first hair band I could find.’
    • ‘With a practised flip, he righted the dinghy and held it steady while we clambered aboard.’
    • ‘She said council staff had cut back to a stump a tree that young people were known to climb on as they clambered up the cliff.’
    • ‘The challenging assault course will see the squad scaling 12 ft high walls, balancing on beams and clambering up and over rope cargo nets.’
    scramble, climb, scrabble, move awkwardly, claw one's way
    scale, ascend, mount
    View synonyms


  • [in singular] An awkward and laborious climb or movement.

    ‘a clamber up the cliff path’
    • ‘To the left, a clamber up some muddy boulders leads towards Gypsum Cavern.’
    • ‘Finally, we began the long clamber up and out of the forest.’
    • ‘And access via the side door means an undignified clamber over the back.’
    • ‘It is worth making a short detour to the shore where, after a tricky clamber, you can explore natural arches.’
    • ‘A final clamber led to cliff where we could look out to the open sea.’
    • ‘Any remnant of infant energy can be exhausted on a clamber over rustic playground structures.’
    climb, scaling, conquest, scramble, clamber, trek
    View synonyms


Middle English: probably from clamb, obsolete past tense of climb.