as·​cent ə-ˈsent How to pronounce ascent (audio)
: the act of rising or mounting upward : climb
completed their ascent of the mountain
: an upward slope or rising grade : acclivity
followed the steep ascent to the top of the hill
: the degree of elevation : inclination, gradient
: an advance in social status or reputation : progress
their ascent from the lower class to the middle class
: a going back in time or upward in order of genealogical succession

Example Sentences

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 What played out last week under the Capitol dome was a caustic strike on a politician whose ascent had been swift. Los Angeles Times, 7 Jan. 2023 His ascent is reminiscent of Accelerate, another Sadler trainee who won the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. Jason Frakes, The Courier-Journal, 2 Nov. 2022 But her ascent to the top of her sport wasn’t all luck. Jane Hanson, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 Though Meloni’s apparent ascent to power is unprecedented in a country where politics have been dominated by men, feminists in the country are hardly celebrating it as a win for women. Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 27 Sep. 2022 His who-is-this-guy training-camp ascent, back in ‘14, was one of the best stories of preseasons past. Chad Finn,, 12 Aug. 2022 Less predictable was his ascent from a junior staff job at the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway to the chief executive’s post at the rail giant CSX Corp. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 5 Aug. 2022 Its ascent is especially remarkable considering where the firm — and McElwee — started. New York Times, 29 June 2022 Her ascent to the pros was fascinating for people like Thomas to watch because of her storied career at Iowa. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 12 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History


irregular from ascend

First Known Use

1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of ascent was in 1581

Dictionary Entries Near ascent

Cite this Entry

“Ascent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


as·​cent ə-ˈsent How to pronounce ascent (audio)
: the act of rising or climbing up
began their ascent of the mountain
: an upward slope

More from Merriam-Webster on ascent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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