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 Facts, science and competency appear to be in ascendancy in Washington and St. Paul. Tom Berg, Star Tribune, "Fifty years later, is a 'Minnesota Miracle' even imaginable?," 15 Jan. 2021 Co-director Stacy Mitchell has highlighted the harm that Amazon’s ascendancy can pose to local businesses before. Globe Staff,, "Amazon’s rise could help pave the way for Staples-Office Depot merger, finally," 11 Jan. 2021 In fact, SUVs’ sales ascendancy may free — or force, depending on your degree of cynicism — automakers to make better cars. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "These new cars prove the sedan isn’t dead. Here's why drivers will buy them," 2 Jan. 2021 The requirement of neutrality, not the ascendancy of an emboldened conservative majority, is the real lesson. Cass R. Sunstein Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "Don't read too much into worship ruling," 30 Nov. 2020 United's early goals against Leeds came from an unlikely source, with midfielder Scott McTominay producing two delightful finishes inside the opening four minutes to put his team in the ascendancy. Matias Grez, CNN, "Manchester United fires six goals past Leeds to continue impressive Premier League run," 20 Dec. 2020 There have been plenty of one-term presidents, but Donald Trump’s four-year Republican ascendancy marks only the second time since the nineteenth century that a party has been given the White House for just one term. Christopher Caldwell, The New Republic, "The Biden Popular Front Is Doomed to Unravel," 23 Nov. 2020 But his cultural ascendancy in America was far from a foregone conclusion. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Young America Came to Love Beethoven," 17 Dec. 2020 Factor in the BlackRock ascendancy, and what lies ahead is not difficult to guess. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Counting the Shareholder Out: When the Ruling Class Changes the Rules," 11 Dec. 2020

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

31 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ascendancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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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