descendant

adjective
de·scen·dant | \di-ˈsen-dənt \
variants: or less commonly descendent

Definition of descendant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : moving or directed downward listed in descendant order

2 : proceeding from an ancestor or source

descendant

noun
variants: or less commonly descendent

Definition of descendant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one originating or coming from an ancestral stock or source : one descended from another descendants of King David a descendant of an ancient grass

2 : one deriving directly from a precursor or prototype Italian and other descendants of Latin

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Synonyms & Antonyms for descendant

Synonyms: Adjective

bowed, bowing, declined, declining, descending, drooping, droopy, hanging, hung, inclining, nodding, pendulous, sagging, stooping, weeping

Antonyms: Adjective

unbending, upright

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Did You Know?

Descendant is the opposite of ancestor. Your grandparents' descendants are those who are descended from them—your parents, your brothers and sisters, and any children that any of you may have. It's been claimed that every person on earth is a descendant of Muhammad, and of every historical person before him—Julius Caesar, the Buddha, etc.—who started a line of descent. (Some of us still find this hard to believe.) And not all descendants are human; every modern thesaurus, for example, could be called the descendant of the one devised by Peter Mark Roget in 1852.

Examples of descendant in a Sentence

Adjective

the descendant branches of a weeping willow

Noun

One of the famous inventor's descendants is also an inventor. Many people in this area are descendants of German immigrants. Recent evidence supports the theory that birds are the modern descendants of dinosaurs. The Italian language is one of Latin's descendants.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Today, local representatives from descendant communities visit the site twice a year and help guide the research. Jon Hurdle, New York Times, "Ruined ‘Apartments’ May Hold Clues to Native American History," 4 Sep. 2017 The group was made up of friends of Ariana Rockefeller, the descendant grand-niece of the property's founder. Avril Graham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Just Back From...A Long Weekend in Puerto Rico," 8 May 2017 A descendant sapling from a tree planted by children who were killed during the Holocaust was planted at Niles West High School Thursday, April 27, in honor of Arbor Day. Mike Isaacs, chicagotribune.com, "Arbor Day: Sapling from tree grown during Holocaust planted at Niles West," 28 Apr. 2017 Protesters also poured into the streets of several cities in Chocó, the blackest department (comparable to a U.S. state), with an 80 percent African-descendant population. Lori S. Robinson, The Root, "Fighting for Black Lives in Colombia: At War’s End, the Search for a Seat at the Table," 3 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Soda fountains and their fast food descendants were continuing to grow, spurring more sales of cups and straws. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Disposable America," 21 June 2018 Those former slaves and their descendants, known as Americo-Liberians, have long clashed with the nation’s multifactioned indigenous population — one often mired in its own internal battles. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Accused Liberian's trial in Philly highlights complicated U.S. legacy in war-torn African nation," 15 June 2018 And Quindaro thrived for decades as a home for hundreds of former slaves and their descendants. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, kansascity, "KC's rich African-American history needs to be celebrated year-round," 15 June 2018 The house, built from two-feet-thick sandstone blocks, was given to the City of Westlake in 2000 by a descendant of the Weston family. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland.com, "Historic Lilly Weston home in Westlake to get funding and work to restore it as a museum," 11 Dec. 2017 Some Russian nationalists now herald this Mongol-Turkic state, governed by descendants of Genghis Khan’s oldest son, as the foundation of Russia’s own eternal empire. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "Russia’s Turn to Its Asian Past," 6 July 2018 For more information and to book a tour, visit angelsenvy.com/distillery/visit/. Kentucky Peerless Another family-owned and operated business, Kentucky Peerless is currently run by the descendants of the company's founder, Henry Kraver. Gabe Hauari, The Courier-Journal, "Tour these top Kentucky distilleries. Shocker! They're mostly bourbon," 20 June 2018 Members of the charitable organization, known by the unwieldy abbreviation SMOTJ, regard themselves as spiritual descendants of the original Templars. Kristina Krug, Smithsonian, "Meet the Americans Following in the Footsteps of the Knights Templar," 28 June 2018 Second, birds were the direct living descendants of dinosaurs. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The Real Scientific History Behind the Jurassic Park Dinosaurs," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'descendant.' 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 descendant

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1569, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for descendant

Adjective

Middle English dessendaunte, from Anglo-French descendant, from Latin descendent-, descendens, present participle of descendere — see descend

Noun

French & Latin; French descendant, from Late Latin descendent-, descendens, from Latin

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Time Traveler for descendant

The first known use of descendant was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for descendant

descendant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of descendant

: someone who is related to a person or group of people who lived in the past

: a plant or animal that is related to a particular plant or animal that lived long ago

: something that developed from another thing that was made or existed earlier

descendant

noun
de·scen·dant | \di-ˈsen-dənt \

Kids Definition of descendant

1 : someone related to a person or group of people who lived at an earlier time

2 : a thing that comes from something that existed at an earlier time

descendant

noun
de·scen·dant
variants: also descendent \di-ˈsen-dənt \

Legal Definition of descendant 

: a blood relative of a later generation

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