ascend

verb
as·​cend | \ ə-ˈsend \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ascend

ascendable or ascendible \ -​ˈsen-​də-​bəl \ 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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Some of Immelt’s signature endeavors and buzzwords evaporated when Flannery ascended. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 Coven detailed that process, and the season saw Cordelia Goode (Paulson) ascending to become the Supreme, taking the mantle and the powers from her mother Fiona (Jessica Lange). Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "American Horror Story: Apocalypse was somehow both absolutely nuts and largely forgettable," 18 Nov. 2018 Urged on by elders who should have shielded her — a protective father at least tried to save Icarus — Houston ascended the summit of superstardom not to graze the heavens but to escape her demons down on earth. Graham Ambrose, BostonGlobe.com, "Darkness and light in Whitney Houston documentary," 4 July 2018 White evangelical Christian denominations have ascended to political power, continuing a trajectory that’s been in place since Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority movement of the 1980s. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Why this shrinking religious group might be among America’s last “swing voters”," 5 Nov. 2018 In 2014, Samaje Perine ascended after Keith Ford was injured. Cliff Brunt, The Seattle Times, "Talented crew ready to replace injured Oklahoma RB Anderson," 10 Sep. 2018 Therefore as the asteroid mission died an early, unmourned death, the Gateway ascended. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "NASA says it’s building a gateway to the Moon—critics say it’s just a gate," 6 Sep. 2018 The 93-year-old Nelson ascended to church president in January when the previous president died. Brady Mccombs, Fox News, "Church president: Use 'Latter-day Saints' not 'Mormon'," 18 Aug. 2018 Cybersecurity project Chronicle ascended to autonomy in January. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Inside X, the Moonshot Factory Racing to Build the Next Google," 11 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ascend

Dictionary Entries near ascend

ascaroid

Ascaroidea

ASCE

ascend

ascendance

ascendancy

ascendant

Statistics for ascend

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ascend

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ascend

ascend

verb

English Language Learners 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.

ascend

verb
as·​cend | \ ə-ˈsend \
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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on ascend

What made you want to look up ascend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!