Definition of cliffhanger in English:

cliffhanger

Line breaks: cliff|hang¦er
Pronunciation: /ˈklɪfhaŋə
 
/

noun

  • 1A dramatic and exciting ending to an episode of a serial, leaving the audience in suspense and anxious not to miss the next episode: it will take more than outrageous cliffhangers to win the ratings wars [as modifier]: a cliffhanger ending
    More example sentences
    • Of course, in keeping with the name of the program, each episode of each serial ended with a cliffhanger.
    • And then, like a dramatic cliffhanger, the day ended.
    • Complications arise during the surgery, but a cliffhanger ending leads the audience to wonder if Dr. Brown has managed a second miracle.
  • 1.1A story or event with a strong element of suspense: the match was a cliffhanger right up to the final whistle
    More example sentences
    • Good handicapping meant clashes like the Jane Fletcher Memorial Cup match between Chowbent B and Metro A stayed a cliffhanger until the final games.
    • Knights supporters took over South Leeds Stadium yesterday and witnessed the latest in a long line of heart-stopping stories stolen from the script of a comic-book cliffhanger.
    • It's going to be a cliffhanger, and you're going to have the same story in 2000.

Derivatives

cliffhanging

adjective
More example sentences
  • The hype has worked, but the reality is a lumbering, unconvincing tale that is filled with one cliffhanging moment after another but never builds into a satisfying thriller.
  • The last few days have been feeling like the cliffhanging episode in the so-called thriller that is [not] my life
  • Only the other day the Evening Press reported that the cliffhanging House In The Rock had been bought by a Pateley Bridge antiques dealer.

Origin

1930s: from early film serials in which episodes ended with characters in desperate situations such as hanging off the edge of a cliff.

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