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 The company's blistering ascent and sudden plunge — along with the fate of its respected founder and CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried — resembles nothing less than the dizzying swings of cryptocurrency itself. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, 10 Nov. 2022 Heche’s tell-all memoir — which recounted her tragic childhood, her ascent in Hollywood and her high-profile relationship with Ellen DeGeneres — has spiked in price days after the actor’s death at age 53. Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2022 But an overhaul of federal rules adopted in 2010 halted Leeman’s ascent and that of thousands of other fishermen in the northeast. Will Sennott, ProPublica, 6 July 2022 Their ascent, and that of their kinsmen and neighbors the Medes, brought them into conflict with the superpower to the west, the Assyrian Empire, led in this era by hugely powerful figures like Ashurbanipal and Tiglath-Pileser III. James Romm, The New York Review of Books, 6 July 2022 The other important thing to remember is that the mountain sits at a rather high elevation more than 16,000 feet above sea level — 17,060 feet to be exact — so be prepared by bringing plenty of water and taking your time on the ascent and descent. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 12 May 2022 The story of Bolt’s swift ascent and its current troubles echoes a familiar Silicon Valley narrative. New York Times, 10 May 2022 But the ascent and ultimate triumph of the neoliberal order was short-lived. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 Stranded, the pair had to make not only the ascent, but also the full descent back on foot, hiking over 150 miles through the wilderness to the nearest town. Julia Buckley, CNN, 4 Nov. 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 30 Nov. 2022.

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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