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

The second half was a more cagey affair with neither side able to establish ascendancy. John Sinnott, CNN, "Sweden secures bronze medal after narrow win over England," 6 July 2019 But with the protectionists seemingly in the ascendancy in the White House, the possibility of further escalation is high. Andrew Mayeda,, "Trump Veers Into Uncharted Trade Territory as Markets See Risks," 26 Mar. 2018 Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, conservatives and classical liberals differed on many things and struggled for ascendancy in politics and ideas. John Hood, National Review, "New Nationalists Make Three Big Bets," 28 Aug. 2019 Cross Colours is due for a comeback given streetwear’s ascendancy, and Lipa is one of the first from today’s celebrity generation to take up the charge. Vogue, "Dua Lipa Wears the Original Inclusive Streetwear Line," 24 July 2019 That was until goals from Benjamin Pavard and a brace from Kylian Mbappe in the space of 11 minutes put Les Blues back in the ascendancy, with Sergio Aguero's late header little more than consolation for La Albicseleste., "Didier Deschamps Hails France's Character After 4-3 Win Against Argentina to Reach Quarter Finals," 1 July 2018 Naby Keita forced a save from Bravo minutes later with Liverpool very much in the ascendancy., "Liverpool 1-1 Man City (4-5 Pens): Report, Ratings & Reaction as Citizens Secure Community Shield," 4 Aug. 2019 Led by fast bowler Steve Harmison, who claimed five wickets on the opening day to dismiss Australia to 190 all out, England appeared in the ascendancy. James Masters, CNN, "The Ashes: Sledging and the bitter fight for iconic minuscule trophy," 31 July 2019 Welcome to Berlin, capital of Germany, where communist dining is experiencing a pungent ascendancy. Michelle Hackman And Georgia Wells, WSJ, "The Quirkiest Dining Scene in Berlin? Communist Comfort Food," 28 June 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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Statistics for ascendancy

Last Updated

16 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for ascendancy

The first known use of ascendancy was in 1641

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English Language Learners Definition of ascendancy

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

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Comments on ascendancy

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


a topic to which one constantly reverts

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