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

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 wealthier that South Korea becomes, the more an ascendant Seoul begins to rival — and worry — Tokyo. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "The Ghosts of World War II," 5 Sep. 2019 The wealthier that South Korea becomes, the more an ascendant Seoul begins to rival — and worry — Tokyo. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Hanson: The ghosts of World War II," 5 Sep. 2019 Trump also tweeted praise Tuesday for Italy’s lame duck prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, who was forced to resign last week amid a call for new elections by Italy’s ascendant populist interior minister, Matteo Salvini. Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times, "Bugged and storming: Trump lashes out about bedbugs and nuking hurricanes," 27 Aug. 2019 Open juniors a year before that, falling to Amanda Anisimova, another ascendant U.S. talent who, at 17, is already ranked No. Wayne Coffey, USA TODAY, "Tennis sensation Coco Gauff embraces Michelle Obama's advice for the U.S. Open and beyond," 22 Aug. 2019 As Biden maintains a tenuous lead in polls and Warren gains ground, there's time for ascendant candidates Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris to get hot. Thomas Beaumont,, "Elizabeth Warren’s warm welcome at Iowa State Fair a warning to other Democrats running for president: ‘Her campaign is hot’," 12 Aug. 2019 His goal: to provoke a crisis, force new elections in the fall, and become prime minister — steps that would leave no doubt about Italy’s ascendant nationalist identity. Washington Post, "Matteo Salvini is already Italy’s most powerful politician. So why is he trying to bring down the government?," 10 Aug. 2019 But the once-ascendant Ghibli has had few modifications since its launch. Mark Maynard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Maserati Ghibli S Q4: from savior to the sidelines," 7 July 2019 Last year Garcetti was traveling the country as a potential presidential candidate, visiting Iowa and other key 2020 states and talking up Los Angeles as an ascendant city booming with jobs, development and new rail lines. CBS News, "Homelessness crisis spurs recall effort against Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti," 20 June 2019

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

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

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on ascendant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ascendant

Spanish Central: Translation of ascendant

Nglish: Translation of ascendant for Spanish Speakers

Comments on ascendant

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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