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

Later, as Clinton reviewed her options for a vice presidential running mate, Warren made a late ascent onto the short list on the strength of the excitement Clinton and her advisers thought Warren might bring to the ticket. NBC News, "Warren and Clinton talk behind the scenes as 2020 race intensifies," 7 Sep. 2019 Despite her description, the hike was by no means easy, with heavy packs and a gradual ascent to the plateau. Anchorage Daily News, "Why a caribou hunt might be just what the doctor ordered," 4 Sep. 2019 The sea stack is often photographed from the more accessible north side; Wright wanted to capture a southern ascent along a route called the Sorcerer. Nina Strochlic, National Geographic, "How this photographer got the photo of her dreams," 22 July 2019 There are 14 miles of trails, including a 2,100-foot ascent to the summit of Bergen Peak. John Meyer, The Know, "The best trail running routes along the Front Range," 22 July 2019 But optimism remains high that the country that launched market reforms in 1986 is on a steady economic ascent. David Pierson,, "Vietnam strains to reap the rewards of the U.S.-China trade war," 12 July 2019 In addition, the office of district attorney has long been a rung on the ladder of political ascent, whose climbers believe that nothing embellishes a résumé like a punitive record. Andrew Cockburn, Harper's magazine, "Power of Attorney," 16 Sep. 2019 That kind of intense ascent into stardom could have created a monster. Bethany Heitman,, "Lea Michele On How PCOS Changed Her Relationship With Food: ‘The Side Effects Can Be Brutal’," 10 Sep. 2019 Rather than being the tale of an academic discipline’s unlikely rise to influence, Mr Appelbaum’s book can be seen as an account of the easy ascent of a few ideas that appealed to the wealthy and powerful. The Economist, "When economists ruled the world," 31 Aug. 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

10 Oct 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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