cliff-hanger


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cliffhanger

1. An ending of a piece of fiction (e.g., a television episode, chapter of a book, a film, etc.) characterized by a dramatically suspenseful and uncertain end. A good summer book always has a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter so that you never want to put it down! Judging by that movie's cliffhanger, I'd say we'll be seeing a sequel coming out fairly soon.
2. A serial television or film production characterized by such endings. That show is a cliffhanger—the episodes never really have endings.
3. Any contest, competition, or other such situation in which the outcome is suspenseful and uncertain until the very end. The two teams have been neck and neck for the entire second half, and with two minutes left this match has become a real cliffhanger. This election is looking like a cliffhanger, and we won't be able to truly say who's won until all the votes are counted.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cliff-hanger

A situation whose outcome is in extremely suspenseful doubt until the last moment. The term comes from serialized adventure films popular in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, in which, at the end of each installment, the hero or heroine is left in a very dangerous situation, sometimes literally dangling from a cliff. The rationale, of course, was to entice the audience to return for the next installment in order to see what happened. By the 1940s the term was being transferred to other suspenseful states of affairs—for example, “the election was a cliff-hanger.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Iaac said the series ended with a cliff-hanger or a situation where it was not clear what would become of her favourite character in the end.
American viewers have already seen the cliff-hanger finale of the second series that leaves Cusick's character, Desmond, facing death.
LOST fanatics should prepare to be driven crazy - as the second series ends with a cliff-hanger that would test the patience of a saint.
Well, it certainly isn't at the end of Invasion (Channel 4, Sunday), which predictably ends in a cliff-hanger after its 22-week run.
The tug-of-war between light and dark builds to a cliff-hanger finale that brilliantly sets up the next film, Day Watch.
Fox-Pitt kept his nerve in a cliff-hanger finish as the two fences he had in hand unexpectedly tumbled but he triumphed in the showjumping phase with under a fence to spare.
By contrast, the game at Catterick seemed like a cliff-hanger. Simon Marshall set the home side on the road to victory against WILTON, beating Paul Greenmon in the top match.
Written succinctly, precisely and unsentimentally but with style and structure, piling on cliff-hanger upon cliff-hanger, you emerge from the book feeling you have been as close an observer of a war as you are ever likely to be: Even though we know how it ends, it is gripping stuff, full of meticulously disinterred detail and acutely sketched personalities.
Of course, the real cliff-hanger in this chase is whether the state will protect artists' independence--not their freedom of speech but their right to use images for free.
As difficult as marriage is, I'm better for having risked jumping the broom and throwing myself headlong into this cliff-hanger called marital union.
This hook is known variously as a grappling hook, skyhook, and cliff-hanger.
That was another huge event, with another 100 heads of state, another cliff-hanger, another event that got huge publicity around the world, with another Bush in the White House.
But each year still ends with a financial cliff-hanger. As many other arts organizations must these days, The Yard struggles to continue its mission.
Another cliff-hanger came during the third space walk, on Dec.
(http://ibtimes.com/ncis-season-14-finale-ends-cliffhanger-ep-teases-details-2529635) READ: "NCIS" Season 14 finale ends on a cliff-hanger.