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

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 This language is hardly new — Mr. Soros became a boogeyman of the American far right long before the ascendancy of Mr. Trump. Alex Lemonides, New York Times, 9 May 2024 That said, the right’s ascendancy is not universal, uniform or assured. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 5 May 2024 And although this new technology harkens back to plenty of science fiction lore, no, the robot workplace ascendancy is not imminent. Sasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 23 Mar. 2024 More importantly, his ascendancy served as a reminder that Black quarterbacks possess more than physical attributes, countering a narrative that has been pushed by scouts, coaches, executives and media since the league’s inception over a century ago. Okla Jones, Essence, 10 Apr. 2024 On The Positive Side One of the next big changes in the workforce will be the ascendancy of Gen-Z. Glassdoor projects that Zoomers will outnumber Baby Boomers in the workforce this year for the first time ever. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Ronald Reagan’s ascendancy in the GOP changed the party’s attitude, and the country’s. Christian Schneider, National Review, 21 Dec. 2023 The exhilarating recap of the Voice’s ascendancy — the story of the Village newspaper that could — takes a mournful turn as witnesses of the wreckage offer their differing autopsies of a storied alternative weekly’s destruction. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2024 Last year’s team entered the postseason on the ascendancy. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ascendancy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ascendancy was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near ascendancy

Cite this Entry

“Ascendancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


as·​cen·​dan·​cy ə-ˈsen-dən-sē How to pronounce ascendancy (audio)
: controlling influence

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