Word of the Day

Monday, November 05, 2012

climacteric

\klahy-mak-TER-ik\ , noun;
1.
A critical period.
2.
Physiology: a period of decrease of reproductive capacity in men and women, culminating, in women, in the menopause.
3.
A year in which important changes in health, fortune, etc., are held by some theories to occur, as one's sixty-third year
4.
The period of maximum respiration in a fruit, during which it becomes fully ripened.
Quotes:
Ernestine, who was the elder, asked one day, after her sister's visit had terminated in a climacteric of sisterly love, kisses, admonitions, and promises.
-- Jack London, The Grilling of Loren Ellery
I had reached an intellectual and artistic climacteric, a life climacteric of some sort.
-- Jack London, The Mutiny of the Elsinore
Origin:
Climacteric originates in the Greek klimakter, "rung of a ladder."
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