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have a mountain to climb

To have an extremely difficult, seemingly impossible task at hand. After losing Ohio to his opponent, the president now has a mountain to climb if he wants to hold on to his job.
See also: climb, have, mountain

climb the social ladder

To improve one's position within the hierarchical structure or makeup of a culture, society, or social environment. Miss Dumfey hopes to climb the social ladder by marrying the local diplomat. John's had a chip on his shoulder from being raised in a trailer park, so climbing the social ladder has been his only aim since leaving home.
See also: climb, ladder, social

climb on the bandwagon

To join or follow something once it is successful or popular. I can't stand these people who just climb on the bandwagon after a win. Where were they last year when the team was terrible? A: "I thought your mom hated that candidate." B: "Well, he's the president now, so she's climbed on the bandwagon."
See also: bandwagon, climb, on

climb Parnassus

To write poetry. Parnassus is a mountain in Greece that was sacred to the Muses. With the literary magazine deadline looming, I need to climb Parnassus this weekend—and pray that some decent poems come out of it!
See also: climb

he that would eat the fruit must climb the tree

One must work for what one wants. You can't rely on sheer intelligence in order to get good grades—he that would eat the fruit must climb the tree.
See also: climb, eat, fruit, he, must, that, tree

mountain to climb

A very difficult task or challenge. You certainly have a mountain to climb if you intend to get this project done by Thursday.
See also: climb, mountain

climb the walls

To be anxious or annoyed to the point of frenzy. If she makes another foolish blunder like that, I'll be ready to climb the walls. The doctor hasn't called me with the test results yet, so I've been climbing the walls.
See also: climb, wall

climb down

To physically descend to a lower point by climbing. Climb down from there this minute, young lady! My little brother climbed down from the tree and ran across the yard to join me.
See also: climb, down

climb on(to) (someone or something)

To mount someone or something. We can reach the cookies on that shelf if you climb on my back. I was nervous, but I climbed onto the horse nonetheless.
See also: climb

climb on (one's) high horse

To adopt an attitude of moral superiority. My sister was a troublemaker as a teenager, yet she always climbs on her high horse and lectures me about everything. The radio host is known for always climbing on his high horse, despite the fact that everyone knows he's a creep.
See also: climb, high, horse, on

climb out

To leave a place or area by climbing or clambering. It doesn't look like there are any other ways out of this canyon. We'll have to climb out. The back seats in my car are so low that it feels like you have to climb out when you sit back there.
See also: climb, out

climb up

To scale; to climb. Everyone else was able to climb up the rope in gym class, but I struggled, thanks to my scrawny arms. How long did it take them to climb up this mountain?
See also: climb, up

climbing the walls

Anxious or annoyed to the point of frenzy. The doctor hasn't called me with the test results yet, so I've been climbing the walls. If she makes another foolish blunder like that, I'll be climbing the walls.
See also: climb, wall

climb down (from something)

to dismount something; to come down from something. The child climbed down from the roof. Please climb down!
See also: climb, down

climb on(to) something

 and climb on
to ascend to or mount something. I climbed onto the side of the truck. Tommy climbed on the truck.
See also: climb, on

climb out (of something)

to get, crawl, or move out of something. He climbed out of the wreckage and examined himself carefully for injuries. He climbed out very carefully.
See also: climb, out

climb the wall(s)

Fig. to be very agitated, anxious, bored, or excited. He was home for only three days; then he began to climb the wall. I was climbing the walls to get back to work.
See also: climb, wall

climb up (something)

to ascend something; to scale something. (Fixed order.) The hikers took two hours to climb up the hill. The adventurer tried to climb up the side of the cliff.
See also: climb, up

Go chase yourself!

 and Go climb a tree!; Go fly a kite!; Go jump in the lake!
Inf. Go away and stop bothering me! Bob: Get out of here. Bill! You're driving mecrazy! Go chase yourself'. Bill: What did I do to you? Bob: You're just in the way. Bill: Dad, can I have ten bucks? Father: Go climb a tree! Fred: Stop pestering me, John. Go jump in the lake! John: What did I do? Bob: Well, Bill, don't you owe me some money? Bill: Go fly a kite!
See also: chase

He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom.

Prov. If you want to gain high status, you must start with low status and slowly work upwards. Although Thomas hoped to become a famous journalist, he didn't mind working for a small-town newspaper at first. "He who would climb the ladder must begin at the bottom," he said.
See also: begin, bottom, climb, he, ladder, must, who

climb the walls

Show extreme frustration, impatience, or anxiety, as in That long, boring banquet made me want to climb the walls, or If he says that one more time I'll be ready to climb the walls. Although describing a military maneuver dating from ancient times, this slangy phrase has been used figuratively to express strong negative feeling only since about 1970. Also see under drive someone crazy.
See also: climb, wall

go fly a kite

Also, go chase yourself or climb a tree or jump in the lake or sit on a tack or soak your head . Go away and stop bothering me, as in Quit it, go fly a kite, or Go jump in the lake. All of these somewhat impolite colloquial imperatives date from the first half of the 1900s and use go as described under go and.
See also: fly, kite

on the bandwagon, get

Also, climb or hop or jump on the bandwagon . Join a cause or movement, as in More and more people are getting on the bandwagon to denounce cigarette smoking. This expression alludes to a horse-drawn wagon carrying a brass band, used to accompany candidates on campaign tours in the second half of the 1800s. By about 1900 it was extended to supporting a campaign or other cause.
See also: get, on

climb up the ladder


climb the ladder

If you climb up the ladder or climb the ladder, you become more and more successful or important. There's no need for the sort of competitive behaviour you get at companies where people are trying to climb up the ladder. He became the first man to climb the social ladder from a log cabin to the White House. Note: You can also say that someone moves up the ladder. If you think you can do more than you are doing in your present position, you owe it to yourself to make the effort to move up the ladder.
See also: climb, ladder, up

a mountain to climb

mainly BRITISH
If someone has a mountain to climb, they have to do a task which will be very difficult and will involve a lot of hard work. The negotiators have a mountain to climb if they want to bring lasting peace to this region. He still has a mountain to climb in persuading the public that war is justified.
See also: climb, mountain

be climbing the walls

If you are climbing the walls, you are feeling very frustrated, bored or anxious. If I was sitting at home with nothing to do, I'd be climbing the walls.
See also: climb, wall


1. n. a marijuana cigarette. (Drugs. The means to a high.) I need a climb to set me straight.
2. tv. to scold someone. The boss climbed Harry for being late.

climb the wall(s)

tv. to do something desperate when one is anxious, bored, or excited. I was climbing the walls to get back to work.
See also: climb, wall

climb the wall

See also: climb, wall

Go chase yourself!

and Go chase your tail! and Go climb a tree! and Go fly a kite! and Go fry an egg! and Go jump in the lake! and Go soak your head! and Go soak yourself!
exclam. Beat it!; Go away! Oh, go chase yourself! Go soak your head! You’re a pain in the neck.
See also: chase

Go climb a tree!

See also: climb

climb the walls

To be anxious or frantic.
See also: climb, wall

go fly a kite

Get lost! Kite flying is an activity that is done far less now than in previous centuries. Accordingly, “go fly a kite!” is heard far less than “get lost!” “take a hike!” and “get your ass out of here!” (or something stronger).
See also: fly, kite
References in classic literature ?
Well, inside that rock, which reaches up into the clouds, is an archway very much like the one we entered when we climbed the spiral stairway from the Valley of Voe.
Again Nikita went stumbling through the snow, again he fell in, again climbed out and trudged about, and at last quite out of breath he sat down beside the sledge.
Again he climbed the slide, but this time he climbed higher, carrying the pick and shovel with him.
Down into a valley between the waves the coop swept her, and when she climbed another crest the ship looked like a toy boat, it was such a long way off.
Luneberg took EMT training, lived in his car while he climbed at Yosemite, got a business degree and worked as a substitute teacher, all in preparation for opening a first-class indoor climbing gym.
One man not only climbed to the top of the wall, but performed all manner of acrobatics, much to the amusement of the children below.
After 11 days, five climate zones and 19,340 feet, Nicole Wineland-Thom ""ly climbed one of the seven summits of the world.
In 2002 he climbed Cho Oyu in the Himalayas, named after the goddess of turquoise and at 8,201 metres the sixth tallest peak in the world.
The researchers counted snail shells in soil samples from nooks of climbed and unclimbed faces of the limestone cliffs.
Hayden has already climbed with his parents all over the United States and in Australia and Thailand.
In May 2002, he stood high atop Mount Everest and has since climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, Mount Aconcagua, Mount Kosciusko and Mount Vinson.
The Climbing Boyos climbed the equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro in their charity challenge
Operating revenues climbed 21% to $690 million, driven by a 23.
After almost 20 years, 28 expeditions and 47 miles of vertical ascents, Alan has secured a place in an elite club of only 14 worldwide who have climbed all 14 of the world's 8,000m highest peaks.