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[klif] /klɪf/

a high steep face of a rock.
a critical point or situation beyond which something bad or undesirable may occur:
The committee is right up to the cliff with no deal in sight.
[klif] /klɪf/
a male given name, form of or .
a steep high rock face, esp one that runs along the seashore and has the strata exposed

Old English clif “rock, promontory, steep slope,” from Proto-Germanic *kliban (cf. Old Saxon clif, Old Norse klif, Middle Dutch klippe, Dutch klip, Old High German klep, German Klippe “cliff, promontory, steep rock”).

Clift has been a variant spelling since 15c. and was common in early Modern English, influenced by or merged with clift, a variant of cleft (n.). Cliff-dweller first attested 1889, American English.


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  • Cliff-brake

    noun 1. any of several common ferns of the genus Pellaea, usually growing in pockets of thin soil on rocks.

  • Cliff-dweller

    noun 1. (usually initial capital letter) a member of a prehistoric people of the southwestern U.S., who were ancestors of the Pueblo Indians and built shelters in caves or on the ledges of cliffs. 2. a person who lives in an apartment house, especially in a large city.

  • Cliff-hang

    [klif-hang] /ˈklɪfˌhæŋ/ verb (used without object), cliff-hung, cliff-hanging. Informal. 1. to wait eagerly for the outcome of a suspenseful situation or contest.

  • Cliffhanger

    [klif-hang-er] /ˈklɪfˌhæŋ ər/ noun 1. a melodramatic adventure serial in which each installment ends in suspense in order to interest the reader or viewer in the next installment. 2. a situation or contest of which the outcome is suspensefully uncertain up to the very last moment: The game was a cliff-hanger, but our team finally […]

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