Anticlimactic is often used to refer to a disappointing ending to an exciting series of events. So, (not being a native speaker) I cannot decide whether it sounds natural to use the word at the start of an event.

Say some exciting events happen that lead to the beginning of something or maybe some epiphany causes you to resolve to go through a painful transformation. But then for some reason the start itself is the opposite of thrilling.

In that case, does it feel natural to read:

After the anticlimactic beginning, however, ...

or is some other word more suitable?

3 Answers 3


An "anticlimactic" beginning or start is fine to use if the preceding hopes for an event were built up (over time or unreasonably so). Alternative words you could use might be lackluster or uninspiring.



  • I went with lackluster.
    – Nirav
    Feb 24, 2019 at 8:49

If something came before the start, the beginning can be, as you note. However it is heavily context dependent, and unless that context is present I would go with what you have already used in your question: 'disappointing'.


The word anticlimactic implies some sort of expectation of climax. You wouldn't ever describe your everyday commute, or standing in line at the supermarket as "anticlimactic", since there's no expectation of excitement and no feeling of deflatedness at the lack of it. The beginning of a story usually has no expectations of climax, so it's not really appropriate to describe it as anticlimactic. Anticlimactic only works if there's no climax where one might expect one, otherwise it's simply "not climactic".

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