cliff-hanger

[klif-hang-er]
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 won.
Also, cliffhanger.


Origin:
1935–40, Americanism

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cliffhanger (ˈklɪfˌhæŋə)
 
n
1.  a.  a situation of imminent disaster usually occurring at the end of each episode of a serialized film
 b.  the serialized film itself
2.  a situation that is dramatic or uncertain
 
'cliffhanging
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cliffhanger
"suspenseful situation," 1937, in ref. to U.S. cinema serials, from cliff + hang. In some cases, esp. Westerns, the hero or heroine literally was dangling from a cliff at the end of an episode.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Transporting coins can turn into a real cliffhanger.
Transporting coins can turn into a real cliffhanger.
It is good to hear that any cliffhanger that the season finale ends with will be wrapped up in a movie though.
This was a cliffhanger intended to be explained in the next season.
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