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verb as·cend \ə-ˈsend\

Simple Definition of ascend

  • : to go up : to rise or move toward the sky

  • : to slope or lead upward

  • : to rise to a higher or more powerful position in a government, company, etc.

Full Definition of ascend

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to move upward <the balloon ascended> b :  to slope upward

  3. 2 a :  to rise from a lower level or degree <ascend to power> b :  to go back in time or in order of genealogical succession

  4. transitive verb
  5. 1 :  to go or move up <ascend a staircase>

  6. 2 :  to succeed to :  occupy <ascend the throne>

as·cend·able or as·cend·ible play \-ˈsen-də-bəl\ adjective

Examples of ascend

  1. They watched their balloons slowly ascend into the sky.

  2. Divers must not ascend too rapidly to the water's surface.

  3. She believed that when she died, her soul would ascend to heaven.

  4. Several paths ascend to the top of the mountain.

  5. stairs ascending to the attic

  6. John Adams ascended to the presidency in 1797.

  7. She worked as a clerk before ascending to her current position.

Origin of ascend

Middle English, from Latin ascendere, from ad- + scandere to climb — more at scan

First Known Use: 14th century

ASCEND Defined for Kids


verb as·cend \ə-ˈsend\

Definition of ascend


  1. 1 :  to go or move up <We ascended the hill.>

  2. 2 :  to rise to a higher or more powerful position <Abraham Lincoln ascended to the presidency in 1861.>

Word Root of ascend

The Latin word scandere, meaning “to climb,” gives us the root scend. Words from the Latin scandere have something to do with climbing. To ascend is to climb upward. To descend is to climb downward. To transcend is to rise above or climb over something's limits.

Medical Dictionary


intransitive verb as·cend \ə-ˈsend\

Medical Definition of ascend

  1. :  to move upward: asa:  to conduct nerve impulses toward or to the brain <nerve fibers that ascend to a nucleus of the brain> <ascending and descending tracts>b:  to affect the extremities and especially the lower limbs first and then the central nervous system <ascending paralysis>

Seen and Heard

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February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

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