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cli'-max / From Greek: "ladder"
Also spelt: klimax, clymax
Also known as: gradatio, incrementum, the marching figure, gradation

Generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure. More specifically, climax is the repetition of the last word of one clause or sentence at the beginning of the next, through several clauses or sentences (= anadiplosis)


Miss America was not so much interested in serving herself as she was eager to serve her family, her community, and her nation.

The following passage from the Bible shows that version of climax that is synonymous with anadiplosis:

But we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience trial; and trial hope; and hope confoundeth not, because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us. —St. Paul

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The above information on individual rhetorical techniques is reproduced from the website “Silva Rhetoricae” ( ) under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Credit for this content lies with Professor Gideon O Burton of Brigham Young University.