descend

verb
de·​scend | \ di-ˈsend How to pronounce descend (audio) , dē- \
descended; descending; descends

Definition of descend

intransitive verb

1 : to pass from a higher place or level to a lower one descended from the platform
2 : to pass in discussion from what is logically prior or more comprehensive descends from the general to the specific
3a : to originate or come from an ancestral stock or source : derive descends from an old merchant family
b : to pass by inheritance a desk that has descended in the family
c : to pass by transmission songs descended from old ballads
4a : to incline, lead, or extend downward the road descends to the river
b physiology : to conduct nerve impulses away from the brain … lesions that interrupt the descending pathways from the cortex or brain stem produce weakness in voluntary movements …— Claude Ghez and John Krakauer
5a : to swoop or pounce down (as in a sudden attack) a hawk descending upon its prey
b : to appear suddenly and often disconcertingly as if from above reporters descended on the candidate
6 : to proceed in a sequence or gradation from higher to lower or from more remote to nearer or more recent Their scores were listed in descending order.
7a : to lower oneself in status or dignity : stoop
b : to worsen and sink in condition or estimation He descended into a deep depression. descended to poverty descend into chaos
c : to pass from higher to lower musical notes The harmony descends chromatically.

transitive verb

1 : to pass, move, or climb down or down along descending the staircase
2 : to extend down along a narrow scar descended her arm

Other Words from descend

descendible \ di-​ˈsen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce descend (audio) , dē-​ \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for descend

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Examples of descend in a Sentence

Wait for the elevator to descend. The workers descended into the hole. A herd of goats descended into the valley. The airplane will descend to a lower altitude soon. Descending the mountain was even more dangerous than climbing it. The children descended the staircase silently. The path descends to the river. The stairs descended into the tunnel. See More
Recent Examples on the Web World leaders, politicians, public figures and European royals, as well as more than 500 dignitaries from around the globe, are expected to descend on London to pay their last respects to Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Andrew Torgan, CNN, 18 Sep. 2022 More than a million people are expected to descend on London for all the funeral events. Matt Burgess, WIRED, 18 Sep. 2022 Both mansions open to grassy lawns that descend to a private dock on Biscayne Bay. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 9 Sep. 2022 The park takes its name from the remote Escalante Canyons and a sequence of huge plateaus that descend like a giant staircase between Bryce Canyon and Zion. Joe Yogerst, CNN, 4 Sep. 2022 Smoky skies were expected to descend over the Bay Area Tuesday, an effect of the Six Rivers Lightning Complex fires in Northern California. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Aug. 2022 More than 20,000 country music fans are expected to descend on South Bass Island next week for what has evolved into a two-day music festival on the grounds of Put-in-Bay Airport. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 19 Aug. 2022 Both teams are the most recent champions of their leagues and soccer fans beyond Wisconsin are expected to descend on Green Bay to watch the clubs play. Ricardo Torres, Journal Sentinel, 20 July 2022 Tens of thousands of participants and spectators from Atlanta and farther afield are expected to descend on the storied event. Mike Esterl, ajc, 4 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'descend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of descend

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3b

History and Etymology for descend

Middle English, from Anglo-French descendre, from Latin descendere, from de- + scandere to climb — more at scan

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Time Traveler for descend

Time Traveler

The first known use of descend was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near descend

Descartian

descend

descendance

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Statistics for descend

Last Updated

3 Oct 2022

Cite this Entry

“Descend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/descend. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for descend

descend

verb
de·​scend | \ di-ˈsend How to pronounce descend (audio) \
descended; descending

Kids Definition of descend

1 : to come or go down from a higher place or level to a lower one The elevator descended.
2 : to move down or down along Descending the cliff was dangerous.
3 : to slope or lead downward The road descends to the valley.
4 : to come down from an earlier time The custom descends from ancient times.
5 : to come down from a source or ancestor : derive Many words descend from Latin.
6 : to be handed down to an heir
7 : to arrive from or as if from the sky Locusts descended on the crops. Holiday shoppers descended on the mall.
8 : to sink in dignity or respectability : stoop I never thought they would descend to cheating.
9 : to sink to a worse condition The classroom descended into chaos.

descend

intransitive verb
de·​scend | \ di-ˈsend How to pronounce descend (audio) \

Medical Definition of descend

: to pass from a higher place or level to a lower one normally the testicle descends into the scrotum between the seventh and ninth month in uteroTherapeutic Notes

descend

intransitive verb
de·​scend | \ di-ˈsend How to pronounce descend (audio) \

Legal Definition of descend

: to pass by inheritance

Other Words from descend

descendibility \ -​ˌsen-​də-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē \ noun
descendible \ -​ˈsen-​də-​bəl How to pronounce descend (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on descend

Nglish: Translation of descend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of descend for Arabic Speakers

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