Climacteric



[klahy-mak-ter-ik, klahy-mak-ter-ik] /klaɪˈmæk tər ɪk, ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪk/

noun
1.
Physiology. a period of decrease of reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in the menopause.
2.
any critical period.
3.
a year in which important changes in health, fortune, etc., are held by some theories to occur, as one’s sixty-third year (grand climacteric)
4.
the period of maximum respiration in a fruit, during which it becomes fully ripened.
adjective
5.
Also, climacterical
[klahy-mak-ter-i-kuh l] /ˌklaɪ mækˈtɛr ɪ kəl/ (Show IPA). critical; crucial.
/klaɪˈmæktərɪk; ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk/
noun
1.
a critical event or period
2.
another name for menopause
3.
the period in the life of a man corresponding to the menopause, chiefly characterized by diminished sexual activity
4.
(botany) the period during which certain fruits, such as apples, ripen, marked by a rise in the rate of respiration
adjective
5.
involving a crucial event or period

c.1600 (adj.), 1620s (n.), from Latin climactericus, from Greek klimakterikos “of a critical period,” from klimakter “rung of a ladder” (see climax (n.)). A critical stage in human life, a period supposed to be especially liable to change. By some, held to be the years that are multiples of 7 (7, 14, 21, etc.), by others only the odd multiples (7, 21, 35, etc.), and by still others the multiples of 9. The Great Climacteric was the 63rd year (7×9), supposed to be especially critical.

climacteric cli·mac·ter·ic (klī-māk’tər-ĭk, klī’māk-těr’ĭk)
n.

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