Climax

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This article is part of the Figures of Speech course. You may choose to follow it in a structured way, or read each item separately.

A climax is usually taken to mean "The highest point of anything reached by gradual ascent; the culmination, height, acme, apex". In language, climax is properly a rise in emotion, especially tension. The figure of speech named climax is defined as: "1. Rhet. A figure in which a number of propositions or ideas are set forth so as to form a series in which each rises above the preceding in force or effectiveness of expression" (OED). The adjective is climactic.

(You may like to see also anticlimax for which there is the adjective anticlimactic.)