as·​cent | \ ə-ˈsent How to pronounce ascent (audio) , 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

Asif Kapadia’s brilliant documentary, Amy, uses footage captured by her friends and family during the full scope of her stardom: its ascent, peak, and downward spiral. Vogue, "These Are the 66 Best Documentaries of All Time," 8 Aug. 2018 Despite reversing course this week, mortgage rates have been on a steady ascent since the beginning of the year. The Washington Post,, "Mortgage rates reverse course, but decline could be short-lived," 31 May 2018 Gaga started her ascent of the Metropolitan Museum of Art steps wearing a billowing, hot pink gown while flanked by men carrying umbrellas. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Everyone Is Freaking Out Over Lady Gaga's Met Gala Entrance, As They Should," 6 May 2019 The shape started its ascent during the Spring 2019 shows in September, where models at Miu Miu, Jacquemus, and Saint Laurent teetered their way down the catwalk in chunky heels. Vogue, "It’s Official: Platform Sandals Are the Shoe of the Summer," 12 Apr. 2019 My grandfather joined in the real estate business, just as waves of other Jews began to make their own white-collar ascents. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How the JAP became America’s most complex Jewish stereotype.," 5 Dec. 2018 While his rapid ascent in music was eclipsed by his legal woes, XXXTentacion's fan base grew exponentially with every release, despite the controversy surrounding him. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "A Timeline of XXXTentacion's Career, From Soundcloud Rapper to Hip-Hop Sensation," 19 June 2018 Her ascent to the mayor’s office will also lead to a number of changes at the Board of Supervisors. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "Mark Leno concedes SF mayor’s race to London Breed," 13 June 2018 Versace was a commercially minded artist whose brash inventions were dismissed by know-nothings as tacky, and whose openness about his sexuality threatened his ascent in a homophobic era. Emily Nussbaum, The New Yorker, "How Ryan Murphy Became the Most Powerful Man in TV," 7 May 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

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ascent

The first known use of ascent was in 1581

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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 How to pronounce ascent (audio) \

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

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