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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Images of the little raccoon-that-could flooded the internet as the creature ascended the 25-story tower, taking frequent naps and breaks for grooming. National Geographic, "5 Surprising Raccoon Superpowers," 13 June 2018 But only time will tell if the Pickle Juice Slush ascends to the heights of popularity of the Unicorn Frappuccino, of course. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Pickle Juice Slushies Are Here to Remind Us That Nothing Is Sacred Anymore," 11 June 2018 Despite King Felipe only ascending to the throne in 2014, this won't be the royal couple's first trip to the States. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Donald Trump to Meet with the King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain Later This Month," 11 June 2018 And the city of Noto is built on four streets ascending the mountain: the street of houses, the street of churches, the street of palaces, and the street of monasteries, which are enormous. Marie-noëlle Bauer, Condé Nast Traveler, "How the Man Behind the World's Greatest Hotels Spends His Time Off," 8 June 2018 Those pop-up protagonists, meerkats (which are not cats but a kind of mongoose, which is not nearly a goose) have a system in which only about one in six females can ever ascend to baby-bearing status. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "A New Book Looks at What Life Is Like for Moms across the Animal Kingdom," 1 May 2018 That's because when the mineral ascends to the surface, less pressure is exerted on it and its carbon bonds are rearranged. Sarah Gibbens, National Geographic, "Never-Before-Seen Mineral Found Inside a 'Super Deep' Diamond," 8 Mar. 2018 During the team’s 102-win 2017 campaign, both its starting rotation and bullpen led the American League in ERA as pitchers on both ends of the staff ascended to superstardom. Ted Berg, For The Win, "How new Mets manager Mickey Callaway will sort out 'the best group of arms' he has ever seen," 13 Feb. 2018 Hinostroza, 24, is part of a group of young forwards the Hawks hope will ascend into larger roles next season. Joe Knowles,, "Vinnie Hinostroza agrees to 2-year extension with Blackhawks," 15 June 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.

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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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Phrases Related to ascend

ascend (to) the throne

in ascending order

Statistics for ascend

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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

: 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 \
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

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