as·​cent | \ ə-ˈsent , a-\

Definition of ascent

1a : the act of rising or mounting upward : climb completed their ascent of the mountain
b : an upward slope or rising grade : acclivity followed the steep ascent to the top of the hill
c : the degree of elevation : inclination, gradient
2 : an advance in social status or reputation : progress their ascent from the lower class to the middle class
3 : a going back in time or upward in order of genealogical succession

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ascent


ascension, climb, rise, rising, soar


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

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Examples of ascent in a Sentence

They followed a steep ascent to the top of the hill. our plane broke through some heavy low clouds during its ascent and leveled off once we were above them

Recent Examples on the Web

George King, from Britain, is believed to be the first to complete the unfathomable free-climb ascent up the Excalibur wall at the Bjoeks Climb Center in Groningen, Netherlands. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Daredevil, 18, scales tallest freestanding climbing wall without ropes, harness - in 15 minutes," 3 Aug. 2018 In Vox Lux, Brady Corbet's bleakly glittery film about a pop singer's ascent to stardom, all is not well in the firmament. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Natalie Portman's Pop Star Turn in Vox Lux Bristles with Apocalyptic Foreboding...and Glitter," 13 Dec. 2018 Vestberg’s ascent was followed by the departure of Tim Armstrong, the man who sold McAdam on the AOL/Yahoo combination. Peter Kafka, Recode, "New Verizon execs say old Verizon execs made a $5 billion mistake betting on AOL and Yahoo," 11 Dec. 2018 This is a critical test that will involve a full-scale firing of the rocket's core stage—four main engines along with liquid hydrogen and oxygen fuel tanks—for a simulated launch and ascent into space. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "There’s a new report on SLS rocket management, and it’s pretty brutal," 10 Oct. 2018 Los Angeles residents were similarly impressed by the rocket's ascent. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "SpaceX Completes First Ever Falcon 9 Launch and Landing on the West Coast," 8 Oct. 2018 Kasatkina is a player in ascent and great fun to watch. Jon Wertheim,, "Five Thoughts From Four Women's Quarterfinals at Wimbledon," 10 July 2018 London Breed’s historic ascent to the mayor’s office has sent currents of optimism and hope rippling through San Francisco’s African American community. Hamed Aleaziz,, "London Breed’s election as SF mayor brings hope to dwindling black community," 16 June 2018 No model’s ascent has been as well-documented as Kendall Jenner’s. Kendall Jenner, Vogue, "Need a Kendall Fix? Take a Look Back at Her Best Moments in Vogue," 30 Aug. 2018

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

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ascent

irregular from ascend

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Statistics for ascent

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for ascent

The first known use of ascent was in 1581

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More Definitions for ascent



English Language Learners Definition of ascent

: the act or process of rising, moving, or climbing up
: the act or process of moving to a higher or more powerful position
: a way of going up something : an upward slope, path, etc.


as·​cent | \ ə-ˈsent \

Kids Definition of ascent

1 : the act of rising or climbing upward The hikers began their ascent of the mountain.
2 : the act of rising to a higher or more powerful position
3 : an upward slope or path

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More from Merriam-Webster on ascent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ascent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ascent

Spanish Central: Translation of ascent

Nglish: Translation of ascent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ascent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ascent

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excited commotion or publicity

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