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cliff

[klif] /klɪf/
noun
1.
a high steep face of a rock.
2.
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.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English clif, Old English, cognate with Dutch, Low German, Old Norse klif
Related forms
clifflike, adjective
Synonyms
1. bluff, promontory, ledge, crag.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for clifflike

cliff

/klɪf/
noun
1.
a steep high rock face, esp one that runs along the seashore and has the strata exposed
Derived Forms
cliffy, adjective
Word Origin
Old English clif; related to Old Norse kleif, Middle Low German klēf, Dutch klif; see cleave²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clifflike
cliff
O.E. clif, from P.Gmc. *kliban, perhaps from PIE base *gleibh- "to adhere, be attached."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for clifflike

cliff

steep slope of earth materials, usually a rock face, that is nearly vertical and may be overhanging. Structural cliffs may form as the result of fault displacement or the resistance of a cap rock to uniform downcutting. Erosional cliffs form along shorelines or valley walls where the most extensive erosion takes place at the base of the slope. Because of their greater gradient, cliffs are subjected to greater erosive action and tend to retreat more rapidly than other slopes.

Learn more about cliff with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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