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

Keep scrolling for more

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 vote continues Walker’s meteoric ascendancy in the federal court system. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Judge Justin Walker, McConnell protege, confirmed to nation's second-most powerful court," 18 June 2020 In our first longitudinal study tracking 2,300 Americans between late March and late April, the greatest gains in UBI support were among conservative women, the same group that helped drive Trump’s ascendancy. Time, "How the Coronavirus Crisis Is Opening the Door to Universal Social Policies in the U.S.," 17 June 2020 Greene has frequently promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory that claims President Trump is fighting against a deep state group of bad actors in the intelligence community who are attempting to torpedo the ascendancy of America First nationalism. Mike Brest, Washington Examiner, "Trump-supporting QAnon conspiracy theorist in strong position to win congressional seat," 11 June 2020 The Trump administration has fired multiple salvos against Huawei Technologies Co. since the start of a campaign to derail China’s technological ascendancy., "Huawei Employees See Dire Threat to Future From Latest Trump Salvo," 7 June 2020 The doc delves into Lee's childhood in Hong Kong, his attempt to break into Hollywood, and his eventual ascendancy to stardom with just a handful of films before his untimely death in 1973. Tyler Aquilina,, "Bruce Lee's life and legacy get the 30 for 30 treatment in ESPN's Be Water trailer," 28 May 2020 Get our daily newsletter Using archive footage as well as interviews with Mrs Marcos’s friends and peers, the first part of the film documents her ascendancy. Y.f., The Economist, "“The Kingmaker” documents the rise, fall and rise of Imelda Marcos," 7 Nov. 2019 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Saturday he was undeterred by the ascendancy of rival Elizabeth Warren in the polls. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "Catholic priest denies Joe Biden Holy Communion at Mass in South Carolina because of abortion views," 29 Oct. 2019 With huge increases in the number of people working remotely, phishing scams are also in the ascendancy in the age of coronavirus. Natalie Gil,, "How Online Coronavirus Scams Are Thriving," 5 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of ascendancy

1641, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ascendancy

Time Traveler for ascendancy

Time Traveler

The first known use of ascendancy was in 1641

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ascendancy

Last Updated

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ascendancy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ascendancy


How to pronounce ascendancy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ascendancy

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!