Definition of cliffhanger noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

cliffhanger

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˈklɪfhæŋə(r)//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈklɪfhæŋər//
 
Types of film
 
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a situation in a story, film/movie, competition, etc. that is very exciting because you cannot guess what will happen next, or you do not find out immediately what happens next The first part of the serial ended with a real cliffhanger. Tonight’s vote on European policy threatens to be a cliffhanger. See related entries: Types of film Word Origin 1930s: from early film serials in which episodes ended with characters in desperate situations such as hanging off the edge of a cliff.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cliffhanger