'Climactic' vs 'Climatic': Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on March 17, 2023

Have you seen the words ‘climactic’ and ‘climatic’ and wondered which is correct or what the difference is? We’ll go over that in this article, plus teach you how to use both in a sentence correctly. You’ll also learn how to pronounce each word correctly.

In short, the answer is:

  • ‘Climactic’ is an adjective that describes the high point or the most intense part of a movie, song, play, or any other creative work. It means ultimate, final, or peak.
  • ‘Climatic’ is an adjective that refers to the climate.

These words sound similar but not quite the same, which means they don’t qualify as homophones. Despite how similar they appear, these words shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

‘Climactic’ vs. ‘Climatic’ – Choose Your Words

We know that ‘climactic’ is an adjective that means ultimate, final, or peak. It describes the high point of or the most intense part of a creative work of art, such as a book, movie, or song.

‘Climatic,’ on the other hand, refers to the climate.

These words can be tricky to use and pronounce, but we’ll give you a short guide on pronunciation, as well as examples of how to use both words in a sentence correctly.

But first, let’s take a closer look at usage.

How to Use ‘Climactic’ vs. ‘Climatic’ Correctly

Using these words correctly comes down to knowing exactly what they mean. And remembering the meaning when it comes to forming your sentences.

That means knowing that ‘climactic’ refers to the climax in a work of art, while ‘climatic’ refers to the climate.

If you can distinguish between the two, you’ll be grammatically correct in your writing.

An easy way to remember the difference is ‘climactic’ sounds like climax, and ‘climatic’ is spelled almost identically to climate, except for the last two letters.

If you can remember this simple trick, you’ll be in good shape to make your writing as great as it can be.

Definition of ‘Climactic’: What Does ‘Climactic’ Mean?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘climactic’ as:

  • Of, relating to, or constituting a climax.

Synonyms include:

  • Apocalyptic
  • Apocalyptical
  • Climacteric

Definition of ‘Climatic’: What Does ‘Climatic’ Mean?

The same dictionary defines ‘climatic’ as:

  • Of or relating to climate.

It could also mean resulting from or influenced by the climate rather than the soil.

A Brief History

The first known use of this word was in 1747, and it meant the same thing it means today.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Climactic’ and ‘Climatic’

Are you unsure of how to pronounce these words? Here’s a short guide.

To pronounce ‘climactic’ correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:


To pronounce ‘climatic’ correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:


How to Use ‘Climactic’ and ‘Climatic’ in a Sentence

Since we know the meaning of both words and how to pronounce them, let’s look at examples of how to use them in a sentence.


  • The last scary movie I saw was so anti-climactic. I think they need new writers because everything is so cliché now.
  • The director appreciates my climactic extremes and uses them to push the story forward on the screen. I love his input, and I’m so excited to be working with him.
  • The climactic scene in one of my favorite movies is my favorite to act out. Sometimes I just stand in the mirror and act out that same scene. My roommate thinks I’m insane.
  • The climactic scene in Legally Blonde is the courtroom scene when she’s about to win the case, and she realizes the pool boy is gay. They really need to remove that gay stereotype from the movie, so I can enjoy it again without feeling guilty.
  • One of the most disappointing climactic episodes from a TV series is the How I Met Your Mother series finale episode in which Ted’s wife dies, and he ends up with Robin. It ruins the whole premise and doesn’t wrap things up very nicely. I hated it.
  • When I write my screenplay, I want to make sure the climactic scene is epic. I want to make people laugh and cry, and I want to see my movie over and over again.


  • The climatic changes in Florida over the last couple of days hasn’t been ideal for us, but we’re hanging in there. We might just move out of the state next year when the lease for my apartment is up.
  • The climatic differences between New York and Florida are insane. When I moved there last year, I didn’t think I’d have to deal with such moist heat.
  • After the climatic changes in California, there seem to be more floods in the area than ever before. Some people are saying the entire coast of California will be washed away. I hope they’re wrong.
  • When I walked into the room, I heard the weatherman talking about climatic changes in the atmosphere, but I had no idea what he was talking about. I don’t know how my mom still watches cable TV.
  • We have seen a lot of climatic changes in the weather since we’ve been here. It’s been about ten years now, but there’s definitely a difference from when we first got here.
  • I’ve been under the illusion that moving to a state with better climactic conditions will somehow make me happier, but I know I’ve got some serious changes to make. Only then can I be truly happy.

Final Thoughts on ‘Climactic’ and ‘Climatic’

To recap, we learned the following:

  • ‘Climactic’ is an adjective, and it means ultimate, final, or peak. It refers to the high point or the most intense part of a movie, song, play, or any other creative work.
  • ‘Climatic’ is an adjective that describes the climate.

These words sound similar but not exactly the same, which means they don’t qualify as homophones. Regardless of how similar they look, they shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

If you ever get stuck on anything, feel free to come back and review what you learned. We’ve got an entire content library on confusing words and phrases you might see as you’re learning the language. Forget the usage or meaning? Come back anytime.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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