Definition of climacteric in English:


Syllabification: cli·mac·ter·ic
Pronunciation: /klīˈmaktərik, ˌklīmakˈterik


  • 1A critical period or event: the first major climacteric in twentieth-century poetry
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    • The year 1981 was a major climacteric for the politicization of policing, most obviously because of the urban riots, unprecedented in the twentieth century.
    • The sight of him obediently doing this is an awe-inspiring climacteric in his career.
    • But the First World War shocked even him, and that was probably a climacteric.
  • 1.1 Medicine The period of life when fertility and sexual activity are in decline; (in women) menopause.
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    • Whatever the nomenclature, be it male menopause or climacteric or age related hypotestosteronaemia, men presenting with symptoms outlined in the box should be investigated.
    • A transitional period occurs prior to menopause termed the climacteric or perimenopause.
    • Lock starts the chapter with an interesting historical review of the emergence of the female climacteric or menopause in medical and psychoanalytic discourse.
  • 1.2 Botany The ripening period of certain fruits such as apples, involving increased metabolism and only possible while still on the tree.
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    • In climacteric fruits such as peaches and tomato, ripening is associated with a characteristic burst of respiration which correlates with an increase in ethylene production.
    • It is thought that the increase in ethylene responsiveness during petal development culminates in the ethylene climacteric.
    • Thus it appears that some aspects of ethylene-dependent gene expression are conserved between climacteric fruits such as melon and tomato.


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  • 1Having extreme and far-reaching implications or results; critical: Britain must possess so climacteric a weapon in order to deter an atomically armed enemy
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    • Given these emphases on significant dates, it may not be coincidental that the Ara Pacis was begun during the year in which Augustus reached the climacteric age of fifty.
    • The fact that such a climacteric event of our history is not being taught is disconcerting.
    • There are two aspects of this climacteric event to be considered in relation to the history of our civilization.
  • 1.1 Medicine Occurring at, characteristic of, or undergoing the climacteric; (in women) menopausal.
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    • The authors conclude that a dosage of 114 mg per day of phytoestrogens for three months does not relieve hot flushes or other climacteric symptoms.
    • In females about 50 years old, various symptoms of climacteric disorders may appear with the decline of ovarian function.
    • Both Western and Chinese herbal traditions have numerous solutions for climacteric women.
  • 1.2 Botany (Of a fruit) undergoing a climacteric.
    More example sentences
    • As a senescing hormone, it promotes leaf-yellowing, climacteric fruit ripening, flower and leaf abscission.
    • In the climacteric fruit tomato, ethylene is perceived by a family of six receptor proteins.
    • Pear are climacteric fruit: their ripening is associated with a burst of autocatalytic ethylene production.


mid 16th century (in the sense 'constituting a critical period in life'): from French climactérique or via Latin from Greek klimaktērikos, from klimaktēr 'critical period', from klimax 'ladder, climax'.

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