- a period in the life of a person when an important physiological change occurs; specif., the period of perimenopause
- any crucial period
Origin of climactericClassical Latin climactericus ; from Classical Greek klimakt?rikos ; from klimakt?r, round of a ladder ; from klimax, ladder: see climax
- a. See menopause.b. See perimenopause.
- A critical period or year in a person's life when major changes in health or fortune are thought to take place.
- A critical stage, period, or year: “before the end of the millennium, whether [he] lives to see that ecclesiastical climacteric or not” (Conor Cruise O'Brien).
- Of or relating to a climacteric.
- Critical; crucial.
Origin of climactericFrom Latin cl&imacron;mact&emacron;ricus, of a dangerous period in life, from Greek kl&imacron;makt&emacron;rikos, from kl&imacron;makt&emacron;r, dangerous point, rung of a ladder, from kl&imacron;max, ladder; see climax.
(comparative more climacteric, superlative most climacteric)
- A critical stage or decisive point; a turning point. [from 17th c.]
- A period in human life in which some great change is supposed to take place, calculated in different ways by different authorities (often identified as every seventh or ninth year). [from 17th c.]
- (medicine) The period of life that leads up to and follows the end of menstruation in women; the menopause. [from 18th c.]
From Latin clīmactēricus, from Hellenistic Ancient Greek κλιμακτηρικός (klimaktērikos, “scale, progression, gradation”).