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[uh-sent] /əˈsɛnt/
an act of ascending; upward movement; a rising movement:
the ascent of a balloon.
movement upward from a lower to a higher state, degree, grade, or status; advancement:
His ascent to the governorship came after a long political career.
the act of climbing or traveling up:
Three climbers attempted the ascent of Mount Rainier.
the way or means of ascending; upward slope; acclivity.
a movement or return toward a source or beginning.
the degree of inclination; gradient:
a steep ascent.
Origin of ascent
1590-1600; derivative of ascend, on the model of descent
Related forms
reascent, noun
Can be confused
ascent, assent, consent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ascent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Its summit elevation is nearly 15,000 feet, and in 1881 Langley made its ascent for the purpose of measuring the solar constant.

    Astronomy David Todd
  • For hours it seemed that every ascent, every descent, must mark the end.

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • Never eat much at a sitting during the ascent, but eat often and little at a time.

    Your National Parks Enos A. Mills
  • They were near the crown of the ascent, and he could carry her as far as that!

    Salted With Fire George MacDonald
  • Theodore had got to the ladder that made the last part of the ascent, and there Daffy had collared him.

    Marriage H. G. Wells
British Dictionary definitions for ascent


the act of ascending; climb or upward movement: the ascent of hot gases
an upward slope; incline or gradient
movement back through time, as in tracing of earlier generations (esp in the phrase line of ascent)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ascent

c.1610, "action of ascending," from ascend on model of descend/descent; "climbing" sense is from 1753.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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