as·​cen·​sion | \ ə-ˈsen(t)-shən \

Definition of ascension

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the act or process of ascending


geographical name
As·​cen·​sion | \ ə-ˈsen(t)-shən \

Definition of Ascension (Entry 2 of 2)

isolated island in the South Atlantic belonging to the British colony of Saint Helena area 34 square miles (88 square kilometers), population 1400

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ascension

Synonyms: Noun

ascent, climb, rise, rising, soar

Antonyms: Noun

descent, dip, dive, drop, fall, nosedive, plunge

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Examples of ascension in a Sentence


The play tells of his ascension to the presidency. the ascension of women in society

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

McCarthy’s ascension is a sign that Republicans remain comfortable with the establishment — despite the fact that Democrats flipped the House by campaigning on the failures of the Republican agenda, which McCarthy helped establish. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Kevin McCarthy finally gets to be the top House Republican — but in the minority," 14 Nov. 2018 Nominated to the court by former president Barack Obama in 2009, Sotomayor's ascension to the country's highest court was a monumental achievement for women of color and Latinx people across the country. Marilyn La Jeunesse, Teen Vogue, "Sonia Sotomayor's Tenure as a Supreme Court Justice Makes Latinx Law Students Hopeful for the Future," 12 Oct. 2018 But just as quick as the program’s ascension was, its collapse was equally as jarring. Wells Dusenbury,, "Doug Socha, former Oxbridge Academy players react to school's decision to shut down football program," 20 June 2018 The meteoric ascension is a slap in the face to those who believe foundation is an important factor in becoming a Triple Crown contender. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, "In Triple Crown race, Justify's toughest foe could be American Pharoah," 8 June 2018 Díaz-Canel's ascension to the presidency is not a guarantee. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Cuba will soon be without a Castro as leader for first time in nearly 60 years," 6 Apr. 2018 To Flannery, Immelt, Welch and the others schooled in Crotonville, Larry Culp’s ascension punctured a deep and abiding conviction: General Electric made the greatest managers in the world, who could run anything better than anyone else. Thomas Gryta And Ted Mann, WSJ, "GE Powered the American Century—Then It Burned Out," 14 Dec. 2018 Its protagonist: their prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, whose ascension to the top post in late March has pulled Ethiopia back from the brink of a political implosion. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, "Ethiopia’s New Leader Raises Hopes. Now Comes the Hard Part.," 23 June 2018 Nothing about Kavanaugh’s ascension breaks the rules of American government. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The rigging of American politics," 16 Oct. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ascension


Middle English, from Latin ascension-, ascensio, from ascendere

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Statistics for ascension

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for ascension

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

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More Definitions for ascension



English Language Learners Definition of ascension

: the act of rising or ascending; especially : the act of moving to a higher or more powerful position

the Ascension : the Christian holiday that celebrates Jesus Christ's journey to heaven after his death


as·​cen·​sion | \ ə-ˈsen-shən \

Kids Definition of ascension

: the act or process of moving or rising up especially to a higher or more powerful position ascension to the throne

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Comments on ascension

What made you want to look up ascension? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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