as·​cen·​dant | \ ə-ˈsen-dənt How to pronounce ascendant (audio) \
variants: or less commonly ascendent

Definition of ascendant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the point of the ecliptic or degree of the zodiac that rises above the eastern horizon at any moment
2 : a state or position of dominant power or importance
3 : a lineal or collateral relative in the ascending line


variants: or less commonly ascendent

Definition of ascendant (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : moving upward : rising
b : directed upward an ascendant stem

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Other Words from ascendant


ascendantly adverb

Examples of ascendant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Another good sign: On Election Day, the Moon will be in Gemini, on Harris's ascendant, and on the transiting North Node of Destiny. Lisa Stardust,, "An Astrologer Analyzes Joe Biden & Kamala Harris’ Chance Of Winning The Election," 13 Aug. 2020 There has been a fundamental shift in the way electricity is generated in the United States, with cleaner energy sources such as natural gas, wind and solar power ascendant. New York Times, "A Courtside View of Scott Pruitt’s Cozy Ties With a Billionaire Coal Baron," 2 June 2018 With e-commerce ascendant, nearly everyone else in the retailing, from venerable department stores to once-trendy clothiers like J. Crew, has been struggling to grow or even survive. Chad Bray And Michael J. De La Merced, New York Times, "QVC to Merge With Home Shopping Network in $2.1 Billion Deal," 6 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The left pleaded for tolerance then, but the hard left, now ascendant in the Democratic Party, no longer worries about tolerance. John Kass,, "Column: Years after 9/11, the political use of fear continues on," 11 Sep. 2020 Today, some form of capitalism is ascendant nearly everywhere. Robert Kuttner, The New York Review of Books, "Can We Fix Capitalism?," 8 Sep. 2020 Mike McKenna, a former Trump administration legislative aide and a fossil fuel lobbyist, countered the Chamber is unwise to ally with Democrats when the party’s left wing is ascendant. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Chamber bets it can help centrist Democrats hold the line on climate," 4 Sep. 2020 The last of those is ascendant: For the quarter ended June 30, RIL’s petrochem arm saw a 33% year-over-year decline in revenue, while revenue at its retail business dropped 17% in the same period. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, "Reliance Jio is India’s answer to Amazon, AT&T, and Huawei—all rolled into one," 28 Aug. 2020 Then, soon-to-be-former Alynlam Pharmaceuticals President Barry Greene calls in to look back on his career at the ascendant company and at what comes next. Rebecca Robbins, STAT, "Listen: Pharma’s lobbying dollars, Alnylam’s future, and diversity in Covid-19 studies," 13 Aug. 2020 The gospel of Jean-Jacques is ascendant in America today. John D. Hagen, National Review, "The Gospel of Jean-Jacques," 20 Aug. 2020 The country’s demographics, from the rise of millennials and Generation Z to large-scale immigration, have changed since 1972 or even 1988 in ways that convince many Democrats that the progressive electoral coalition is ascendant. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "McGovern redux? Democrats' journey from Obama to Sanders a bet voters ready for leftism," 19 Aug. 2020 Rendon hit the sixth homer of his ascendant season leading off the fourth. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, "Keibert Ruiz starts career with HR, Dodgers sweep Angels 8-3," 16 Aug. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ascendant


Middle English ascendent, from Medieval Latin ascendent-, ascendens, from Latin, present participle of ascendere

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Time Traveler for ascendant

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The first known use of ascendant was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ascendant

Last Updated

23 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ascendant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for ascendant



English Language Learners Definition of ascendant

: becoming more popular or successful
: more powerful or important than any other


as·​cen·​dant | \ ə-ˈsen-dənt \

Legal Definition of ascendant

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ascendant

Nglish: Translation of ascendant for Spanish Speakers

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