|The Grand Climacteric|
(63 to the layperson)
(photo by Chris)
Adjective & noun. Mid-16th century.
[French climactérique or Latin climactericus, from Greek klimakterikos, from klimakter critical period, from klimax.]
A1(a) adj. Pertaining to or constituting a critical period in human life; critical, fatal. M16
A1(b) adj. MEDICINE. Occuring at or characteristic of a period of life when (male) fertility and sexual activity are in decline;
(in women) menopausal. E19
A2 = CLIMACTIC. E19
B noun. A supposedly critical stage in human life, especially occurring at ages that are multiples of seven years;
a critical period, point or epoch. M17
grand climacteric (designating) the 63rd year of life, supposed to be specially critical.
climacter obsolete noun = climacteric. E-M17
climacterical adj. + obsolete noun = climacteric. L16
If you're one for poring over lists of easily confused words, you'll be familiar with the oft muddled adjectives climatic and climactic, the first referring to matters of climate, of course, and the latter relating to climax. If you like these lists, you'll be delighted to know that there's another word, one that such lists often irresponsibility omit - climacteric, which refers to a critical stage in one's life, and specifically to the menopause in women and the andropause in men. Oh, and it's also a synonym for climactic (that's the climax one), just in case it was getting a bit too simple for you. As for climacteric years, these are the ages that are divisible by seven which, because of some astrological mumbo jumbo, have been held as significant since antiquity.
Do you confuse climatic, climactic and climacteric?
Are you in your grand climacteric?
Do please weather the storm and leave your most critical comments in the box below.