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

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 In the succeeding years, the liberal justices’ power gave way to the ascendancy of the court’s centrist faction in the early 1970s and eventually to the conservative bloc in the 1980s and beyond. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 8 June 2022 Female ascendancy in the animal kingdom does not, as a matter of course, result in nonviolence. Rebecca Giggs, The Atlantic, 6 May 2022 That’s also a live idea in the Republican Party—maybe Trumpism didn’t really mean anything except the ascendancy of a very specific group of people close to this one man. The New Yorker, 3 May 2022 They were disturbed even then at the ascendancy of eating disorders in the culture and the onslaught of ideas marketed to people about how best to care for their bodies and themselves. Amy Larocca, Town & Country, 30 Apr. 2022 The idea that these kinds of hot-button issues mean instant death for Democrats dates to the 1980s and the conservative ascendancy. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 25 Apr. 2022 Meanwhile on the left, the radical wing has also been on the ascendancy. Garret Martin, The Conversation, 8 Apr. 2022 But the right’s recent political ascendancy follows many years in which conservatives have successfully waged a cultural battle — greatly inspired by the American right and often adopting its codes and strategies to attract a more youthful audience. New York Times, 6 Apr. 2022 But Wordle’s swift ascendancy, which led to it getting acquired by the New York Times for upward of $1 million in January, isn’t unprecedented. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ascendancy

1641, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of ascendancy was in 1641

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Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ascendancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ascendancy

Nglish: Translation of ascendancy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ascendancy for Arabic Speakers


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