as·​cen·​dan·​cy | \ ə-ˈsen-dən(t)-sē How to pronounce ascendancy (audio) \
variants: or less commonly ascendency

Definition of ascendancy

: governing or controlling influence : domination

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Did You Know?

In the course of a year, the sun appears to pass through the twelve constellations of the zodiac in sequence, and all the planets also lie close to the solar path. The constellation and planet that are just rising, or ascendant, above the eastern horizon in the sun's path at the moment of a child's birth are said by astrologers to exercise a lifelong controlling influence over the child. This is the idea that lies at the heart of ascendancy, though the word today no longer hints at supernatural powers.

Examples of ascendancy in a Sentence

the ascendancy of the government a book chronicling the ascendancy of fascism in Europe after World War I
Recent Examples on the Web That in part explains the recent rise in popularity of streamable entertainment—legitimate and otherwise—as well as the ascendancy of videogames as virtual venues. Chris Kornelis, WSJ, "What to Watch: A Documentary on Singing Legend Ella Fitzgerald," 24 June 2020 The World Health Organization says the pandemic is still in its ascendancy. Menelaos Hadjicostis, Time, "Surge in Coronavirus Infections as Restrictions Loosen Globally," 23 June 2020 The vote continues Walker’s meteoric ascendancy in the federal court system. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Judge Justin Walker, McConnell protege, confirmed to nation's second-most powerful court," 18 June 2020 In our first longitudinal study tracking 2,300 Americans between late March and late April, the greatest gains in UBI support were among conservative women, the same group that helped drive Trump’s ascendancy. Time, "How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Opening the Door to Universal Social Policies in the U.S.," 17 June 2020 Greene has frequently promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory that claims President Trump is fighting against a deep state group of bad actors in the intelligence community who are attempting to torpedo the ascendancy of America First nationalism. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Trump-supporting QAnon conspiracy theorist in strong position to win congressional seat," 11 June 2020 The Trump administration has fired multiple salvos against Huawei Technologies Co. since the start of a campaign to derail China’s technological ascendancy., "Huawei Employees See Dire Threat to Future From Latest Trump Salvo," 7 June 2020 The doc delves into Lee's childhood in Hong Kong, his attempt to break into Hollywood, and his eventual ascendancy to stardom with just a handful of films before his untimely death in 1973. Tyler Aquilina,, "Bruce Lee's life and legacy get the 30 for 30 treatment in ESPN's Be Water trailer," 28 May 2020 Get our daily newsletter Using archive footage as well as interviews with Mrs Marcos’s friends and peers, the first part of the film documents her ascendancy. Y.f., The Economist, "“The Kingmaker” documents the rise, fall and rise of Imelda Marcos," 7 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ascendancy.' 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 ascendancy

1641, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for ascendancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of ascendancy was in 1641

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Statistics for ascendancy

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ascendancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce ascendancy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ascendancy

formal : a position of power in which someone can control or influence other people

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