as·​cend | \ ə-ˈsend How to pronounce ascend (audio) \
ascended; ascending; ascends

Definition of ascend

intransitive verb

1a : to move upward the balloon ascended
b : to slope upward The path ascends through the woods.
c : to conduct nerve impulses toward or to the brain an ascending somatosensory pathway
2a : to rise from a lower level or degree ascend to power
b : to go back in time or in order of genealogical succession
c : to pass from lower to higher musical notes C – E ascending

transitive verb

1 : to go or move up ascend a staircase
2 : to succeed to : occupy ascend the throne

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Other Words from ascend

ascendable or ascendible \ -​ˈsen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce ascendible (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for ascend

ascend, mount, and climb mean to move upward or toward the top. ascend is used for a gradual upward movement. We slowly ascended the staircase. mount is used for reaching the very top of something. Soldiers mounted the hill and placed a flag there. climb is used when effort and often the hands and feet are needed to move up something. Explorers climbed the rugged mountain.

Examples of ascend in a Sentence

They watched their balloons slowly ascend into the sky. Divers must not ascend too rapidly to the water's surface. She believed that when she died, her soul would ascend to heaven. Several paths ascend to the top of the mountain. stairs ascending to the attic John Adams ascended to the presidency in 1797. She worked as a clerk before ascending to her current position.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Air Force One flew overhead as the president and first lady Melania Trump ascended the makeshift stage in front of the memorial. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "'Nothing America can't do': Donald Trump touts U.S. military strength in 4th of July speech," 4 July 2019 But there's actually been discussion about the fact that Peter is quite young to have even ascended to his current position so quickly. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Will Peter W. Be The Bachelor In 2020?," 3 July 2019 But as quickly as the undefeated team ascended the the polls, things unraveled during a six-game losing streak that was capped with a humiliating loss to Marshall in the Gasparilla Bowl. Matt Murschel,, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 53 USF pushes to jump-start offense," 3 July 2019 Of the last seven women to win a grand-slam match at 15, none have advanced past the semi-final of a major tournament, or ascended above 7th in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. J.s., The Economist, "Cori Gauff announces herself at Wimbledon," 2 July 2019 Later, while some of them, like Vinh, were ascending the corporate ladder, Quang, the second eldest, decided to leave his computer job and set off on a soul-searching trek with their mother. Anh Do,, "The ‘Vietnamese American Starbucks’ unites four brothers whose drive stems from early poverty," 2 July 2019 There’d be a painting showing a ship ascending into the clouds and a plaque describing the treacherous journey there. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Elon Musk wanted The Onion; he got Thud," 2 July 2019 View Sample Sign Up Now The Beatles ascended in an era during which cover songs were part of the pop ecosystem: Their first five albums are littered with energetic interpretations of blues, pop and R&B songs. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Yesterday’s Beatles Covers Don’t Come Together. Here’s How the Movie Could Have Done Them Justice," 28 June 2019 After about five years, Carole ascended to Head Mom and in 2019 is celebrating her 20th year in that position. Michael Dumas,, "Hegwood family: Forty years of DYW, and still loving it," 28 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ascend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ascend

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for ascend

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

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Statistics for ascend

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ascend

The first known use of ascend was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for ascend



English Language Learners Definition of ascend

formal : 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.


as·​cend | \ ə-ˈsend How to pronounce ascend (audio) \
ascended; ascending

Kids Definition of ascend

1 : to go or move up We ascended the hill.
2 : to rise to a higher or more powerful position Abraham Lincoln ascended to the presidency in 1861.
as·​cend | \ ə-ˈsend How to pronounce ascend (audio) \

Medical Definition of ascend

: to move upward: as
a : 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on ascend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ascend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ascend

Spanish Central: Translation of ascend

Nglish: Translation of ascend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ascend for Arabic Speakers

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