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

Besides, the slow ascent promises to be much smoother than strapping onto a rocket. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Tourist's Guide to Space," 12 Mar. 2019 Tiger Woods, engineer of golf’s most spectacular ascent and author of its most dramatic downfall, has pulled off one of sports’ greatest revivals. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Tiger Woods Caps Season With a Win at the Tour Championship," 23 Sep. 2018 The University of Michigan’s consumer confidence survey, for example, shows the sentiment continuing its steady ascent and now back up to around its Bush-era peak, though still somewhat below its dot-com-era heyday. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Trump’s White House says wages are rising more than liberals think," 6 Sep. 2018 Just over 75 percent of the falls occurred during descents, compared to 20 percent on ascents and 5 percent on level ground. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, "The Science of Why We Fall on Mountain Trails," 17 May 2018 For a shorter hike in warm months, try the Circular Hike with a different ascent and descent to the bridge. Jamie Moore, USA TODAY, "The world’s 10 most amazing suspension bridges," 26 Apr. 2018 That ascent and job security for Lewerke led to Messiah deWeaver, last year’s third-string quarterback as a redshirt freshman, to transfer out of the program. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State spring game: Debuts for QBs Rocky Lombardi, Theo Day," 6 Apr. 2018 National chains have struggled with Amazon’s ascent and traditional media’s decline. David Staats And Maria L. La Ganga, idahostatesman, "Another Downtown bookstore was destined for closure. Then these buyers called. | Idaho Statesman," 28 Mar. 2018 Whether the event is to be a one time occurrence or the beginnings of 2019’s biggest influencer ascent remains to be seen. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "The Queen Makes Her First Instagram Post in a Millennial Power Color," 7 Mar. 2019

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

11 Apr 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 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

Comments on ascent

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having no equal

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