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 Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, has had months to process the fact that his remarkable NFL ascent has been dampened by one-and-done playoff results in back-to-back seasons. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Cam Newton, Bill Belichick need each other as post-Tom Brady era begins in New England," 13 Sep. 2020 Their ascent to four-plus star ratings could only be explained by alcohol, or a perverse sense of humor, or COVID ... Star Tribune, "Readers Write: First responders, 2020 election, restaurant closings," 1 Sep. 2020 Jim describes his ascent of Mount Bailey, which sits near Crater Lake National Park and across Diamond Lake from the beautiful Mount Thielsen. oregonlive, "Climbing 3 mountains on an Oregon Cascades road trip: Peak Northwest podcast," 27 Aug. 2020 Even Treasury yields have recently been making a move higher, though their ascent slowed on Tuesday. Alex Veiga, Fortune, "S&P 500 hits a new record, erasing last of pandemic losses," 18 Aug. 2020 Hirschi, a former under-23 road race world champion, got away away from the peloton in the first major ascent of the 153-kilometer (95-mile) trek, then resisted the favorites’ chase until he was caught with only 2 kilometers left., "Primoz Roglic leads Tour de France after epic mountain trek," 6 Sep. 2020 Physics itself is a ceiling on our ascent toward total safety. Stefan Beck, National Review, "How to Think about Existential Threats," 3 Sep. 2020 Blaine began his ascent just before 8 a.m. PT on Wednesday and within 40 minutes had risen to a height of over 19,000 feet, or just over three-and-a-half miles, where the oxygen level is around half that to be found at sea level. Clark Collis,, "Watch David Blaine successfully complete Ascension balloon stunt," 2 Sep. 2020 With Xi’s ascent, critics of Chinese traditional medicine have fallen silent. Dake Kang, Anchorage Daily News, "In China’s Xinjiang, forced medication accompanies lockdown," 31 Aug. 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

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ascent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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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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