Definition of CliffsNotes in US English:


(also Cliffs Notes)


  • A brand name for a series of prepared notes used as study guides for literary works and other school and college subject matter.

    • ‘Written exclusively by experienced teachers and educators, CliffsNotes are the resource of choice for today's students.’
    • ‘Hankins raced through a CliffsNotes summary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.’
    • ‘In assembling a CliffsNotes to his or her own emotional history, a teen begins compiling ‘self-defining memories’ such as Baumbach's treasured museum expeditions.’
    • ‘As we learned from the CliffsNotes site, the booklets were named after their founder, Cliff Hillegass.’
    • ‘Students from junior high to grad school have been turning to CliffsNotes to save study time since 1958.’


For Cliff Hillegass (1918–2001), US developer of the series.