descendant

adjective
de·​scen·​dant | \ di-ˈsen-dənt How to pronounce descendant (audio) \
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

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Giana Han reports Auburn University this week sent out a statement asking fans not to wrap the two Auburn Oaks and 10 descendant trees at Toomer’s Corner in toilet paper this season. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Auburn fan guide for 2020 home game against Arkansas," 9 Oct. 2020 That sign also includes images of Tubman and her local descendant Ernestine Jones-Williams, who attended the grove’s dedication ceremony in 2018. Christine Condon, Washington Post, "In Baltimore, Harriet Tubman honored where Confederate statues once stood," 19 Sep. 2020 Giana Han reports Auburn University this week sent out a statement asking fans not to wrap the two Auburn Oaks and 10 descendant trees at Toomer’s Corner in toilet paper this season. Ben Flanagan | Bflanagan@al.com, al, "Auburn fan guide for 2020 home opener against Kentucky," 25 Sep. 2020 That sign also includes images of Tubman and her local descendant Ernestine Jones-Williams, who attended the grove’s dedication ceremony in 2018. Christine Condon, Washington Post, "In Baltimore, Harriet Tubman honored where Confederate statues once stood," 19 Sep. 2020 That sign also includes images of Tubman and her local descendant Ernestine Jones-Williams, who attended the grove’s dedication ceremony in 2018. Christine Condon, baltimoresun.com, "Signs honoring Harriet Tubman installed in Wyman Park Dell, where Confederate statues once stood," 14 Sep. 2020 An in-law or stepchild is considered neither kindred nor descendant and will not inherit. Dallas News, "Splitting heirs: Here’s an heir, there’s an heir, everywhere’s an heir," 16 Aug. 2020 For them, the new study underscores the need for collaboration between scientists and descendant communities in future conservation efforts. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, "For Sustainable Oyster Harvesting, Look to Native Americans’ Historical Practices," 13 July 2020 The government of Ghana has since made efforts to attract its Ghanaian origin and other African descendant diaspora to return home, with the Year of Return, Ghana 2019 recording remarkable success. Amindeh Blaise Atabong, Quartz Africa, "African countries are having to come to terms with a growing diaspora’s dual citizenship," 2 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Wrangler is the direct descendant of that Jeep. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Rugged meets refined in Land Rover’s remade Defender (review)," 10 Oct. 2020 The doctor said the genealogy test showed that Livingston was possibly a direct descendant of residents of the area. Vincent T. Davis, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio beautician proud of her family legacy," 28 Sep. 2020 In 2019, Tamara Lanier, a retired probation officer living in Connecticut, claimed to be a direct descendant of Renty. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "The First Photos of Enslaved People Raise Many Questions About the Ethics of Viewing," 29 Sep. 2020 Bellow is a descendant of John Henry Dorsey, who in 1902 became one of a handful of Black ordained Catholic priests. David Crary, Star Tribune, "Correction: Black Catholic History story," 28 July 2020 In a certain sector of the fanbase, there are many viewers left feeling sore from some of the narrative choices — a big one being the decision to reveal Daisy Ridley's Rey as a descendant of Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker," 9 Sep. 2020 Banner, a descendant of slaves at Whitney, opposes them. Andrea Gallo, NOLA.com, "A special Labor Day offer for you $6.99 a month for 6 months," 4 Sep. 2020 More:I'm a direct descendant of Gen. Alexander Macomb. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, "Bag placed on head of Macomb Monument, 'slave owner' spray painted on it during protests," 6 Sep. 2020 The generations who followed would become the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and Taylor was a direct descendant. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "Cherokee World War II veteran recounts Battle of the Bulge 76 years later," 6 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for descendant

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Descendant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/descendant. Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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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 How to pronounce descendant (audio) \

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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