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



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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 On the ascent from the Batopilas River, semi-tropical plants had given way to mesquite, then to stunted oaks and maguey. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Captivating tales from South Texas and Mexico," 8 Dec. 2020 And with conventional, big-league stardom in decline and microcelebrity on ascent — hastened by Instagram, podcasting, Twitter and reality TV — Mr. Trump and his backup band of pugilistic pundits were right on schedule. Jacob Bernstein, New York Times, "The President’s Backup Band," 12 Nov. 2020 The outlook for hospitalizations looks grim as new cases continue on a sharp ascent throughout the country. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "US healthcare on brink as COVID-19 hospitalizations hit all-time high," 11 Nov. 2020 At the same time, Cumbie said her ascent is a product of the growing political clout of African American women. al, "‘A stunning moment’ as women leaders in Alabama reflect on first female vice president," 7 Nov. 2020 Even his very ascent to the presidency after losing the popular vote by some three million votes was, of course, by the grace of the Electoral College, a centuries-old arrangement explicitly created to hobble democratic participation. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "This Was Always Going to Become Normal," 3 Nov. 2020 Trump's Republican allies in the Senate are counting on Barrett's ascent to improve their standing with voters. The Associated Press,, "Amy Coney Barrett's nomination advances to full Senate despite Democrats' boycott," 22 Oct. 2020 Trump's Republican allies in the Senate are counting on Barrett's ascent to improve their standing with voters. Arkansas Online, "GOP-led Senate panel advances Barrett despite Dems' boycott," 22 Oct. 2020 Dallas remains a team on the ascent, with Luka Donicic and Kristaps Porzingis leading the way., "NBA playoffs without the San Antonio Spurs could be part of new normal," 17 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ascent

Time Traveler

The first known use of ascent was in 1581

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Statistics for ascent

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ascent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for ascent


How to pronounce ascent (audio)

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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