- The definition of anticlimax is written or verbal communication which starts with a dignified or meaningful idea, but takes a sudden turn into a commonplace, stupid or ridiculous idea.
An example of anticlimax is a speech by a presidential candidate who begins discussing the need for affordable health care, and then ends with suggesting the way to do so is to have people eat a clove of garlic a day to prevent illness and make scientists come up with a cure for the common cold.
- Anticlimax is defined as something which turns out to be far less meaningful or exciting than it was built up to be.
An example of anticlimax is a concert that turns out to be far less wild and exciting than all the advertising made it appear.
- a sudden drop from the dignified or important in thought or expression to the commonplace or trivial, sometimes for humorous effect
- a descent, as in a series of events, which is in ludicrous or disappointing contrast to a preceding rise
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- A decline viewed in disappointing contrast with a previous rise: the anticlimax of a brilliant career.
- Something trivial or commonplace that concludes a series of significant events: After a week of dramatic negotiations, all that followed was anticlimax.
- A sudden descent in speaking or writing from the impressive or significant to the ludicrous or inconsequential, or an instance of it: “Waggish non-Yale men never seem weary of calling ‘for God, for Country and for Yale’ the outstanding single anticlimax in the English language” (Time).
- anˌti·cli·macˈtic adjective
- anˌti·cli·macˈti·cal·ly adverb