climax[ klahy-maks ]SEE DEFINITION OF climax
EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR CLIMAX
The solemn mysteries have their place, but it is one of climax.
The story has now reached a point which I cannot help regarding as its climax.
If he had been waiting for a climax, he was entirely satisfied.
These words brought Pierre's disquietude and exasperation to a climax.
This was the climax of the prelate's favour, the apogee of his power.
And now came an incident which brought Pierre's emotion to a climax.
The woman now rose as if to meet a climax, but her eyes were still on the fire.
The spiritual tension of the evening reached its climax: he could bear no more.
What should be the climax of a triumphant argument becomes its refutation.
The third of Shelley's visions of perfection is the climax of Hellas.
1580s, in the rhetorical sense (a chain of reasoning in graduating steps from weaker to stronger), from Late Latin climax (genitive climacis), from Greek klimax "propositions rising in effectiveness," literally "ladder," from root of klinein "to slope," from PIE root *klei- "to lean" (see lean (v.)).
The rhetorical meaning evolved in English through "series of steps by which a goal is achieved," to "escalating steps," to (1789) "high point of intensity or development," a usage credited by the OED to "popular ignorance." The meaning "sexual orgasm" is recorded by 1880 (also in terms such as climax of orgasm), said to have been promoted from c.1900 by birth-control pioneer Marie Stopes (1880-1958) and others as a more accessible word than orgasm (n.).