climacteric

[klahy-mak-ter-ik, klahy-mak-ter-ik]
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-kuhl] . critical; crucial.

Origin:
1595–1605; < Latin clīmactēricus < Greek klīmaktērikós (klīmaktḗr rung of a ladder, critical point in life, equivalent to klīmak-, stem of klîmax (see climax) + -tēr noun suffix) + -ikos -ic

climacterically, adverb
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World English Dictionary
climacteric (klaɪˈmæktərɪk, ˌklaɪmækˈtɛrɪk)
 
n
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
 
adj
5.  involving a crucial event or period
 
[C16: from Latin clīmactēricus, from Greek klimaktērikos, from klimakter rung of a ladder, from klimax ladder; see climax]
 
climac'terically
 
adv

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

climacteric
c.1600, from L. climactericus, from Gk. klimakterikos "of a critical period," from klimakter "rung of a ladder" (see climax). 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 (7x9), supposed to be especially critical.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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

  1. A period of life characterized by physiological and psychic change that marks the end of the reproductive capacity of women and terminates with the completion of menopause.

  2. A corresponding period sometimes occurring in men that may be marked by a reduction in sexual activity, although fertility is retained.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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Example sentences
It will be a fitting climacteric for a half-term in power that has been an unremitting succession of crises.
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