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

Going back to the beginning of 2016, when chip stocks began their steady ascent, the percentage is 76%. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "Slumping Semiconductor Stocks Don’t Bode Well for Broader Market," 29 Nov. 2018 Thus, Whitaker completed his 13-month ascent from TV pundit to the top law enforcement official in the United States. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The many scandals of Trump’s new acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, explained," 14 Nov. 2018 Sharma seems relieved at her success, her trademark toughness softened by knowing she’s in her ascent. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "Meet Dipti Sharma, the India-Born Model Making Waves," 12 Sep. 2018 Later Saturday, guides cut a pathway through the debris field and climbers continued up the route, said Calvin Sherstan, a longtime mountaineer who was making his fifth ascent of Mount Rainier. Evan Bush, The Seattle Times, "‘This would have been an unsurvivable event’: When a glacier crumbles on Mount Rainier," 12 July 2018 Carnegie began his ascent as a teenage messenger boy in a telegraph office. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 His 17th home run widened a one-run lead to three, lessened the blow of the four-run White Sox half-inning that preceded it and continued his five-week ascent up major league leaderboards. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros rough up White Sox again to reach 60 wins," 8 July 2018 On Friday her ascent continued when she was named the U.S. National Team. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "From Menomonee Falls to Penn State to the U.S. National Team, Simone Lee's stock keeps rising," 6 July 2018 Finally, just after 2 a.m., having gained back some of his strength, the nocturnal daredevil began his final ascent. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Raccoon Climbs 25 Stories to Reach Top of Minnesota Skyscraper," 13 June 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

5 Dec 2018

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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


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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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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