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verb (used without object)
to go or pass from a higher to a lower place; move or come down:
to descend from the mountaintop.
to pass from higher to lower in any scale or series.
to go from generals to particulars, as in a discussion.
to slope, tend, or lead downward:
The path descends to the pond.
to be inherited or transmitted, as through succeeding generations of a family:
The title descends through eldest sons.
to have a specific person or family among one's ancestors (usually followed by
He is descended from Cromwell.
to be derived from something remote in time, especially through continuous transmission:
This festival descends from a druidic rite.
to approach or pounce upon, especially in a greedy or hasty manner (followed by
Thrill-seekers descended upon the scene of the crime.
to settle, as a cloud or vapor.
to appear or become manifest, as a supernatural being, state of mind, etc.:
Jupiter descended to humankind.
to attack, especially with violence and suddenness (usually followed by
to descend upon enemy soldiers.
to sink or come down from a certain intellectual, moral, or social standard:
He would never descend to baseness.
to move toward the horizon, as the sun or a star.
verb (used with object)
to move downward upon or along; go or climb down (stairs, a hill, etc.).
to extend or lead down along:
The path descends the hill.
combining form of
to climb; cf.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Virtually anything that caused stress disoriented them, and they quickly
into pre-meltdown conditions.
Police cars were overturned and shops looted as the mob
on the city's central square.
So even the killer whales born in captivity are
from an original population that's been broken and perhaps driven mad.
But it quickly
into a debate about what makes a song lyric bad.
on the capital for the four-day festival.
From her there were directly
one thousand two hundred persons.
Never liked chemistry anyways, a cookbook discipline
Many desert animals are nocturnal, coming out only when the brutal sun has
Some of my relatives were
from them but had to wait for the white relatives to bring them guns.
Whether hammerhead viroids are
from replicons isn't known.
British Dictionary definitions for
) to move, pass, or go down (a hill, slope, staircase, etc)
(of a hill, slope, or path) to lead or extend down; slope; incline
to move to a lower level, pitch, etc; fall
often foll by from
) to be connected by a blood relationship (to a dead or extinct individual, race, species, etc)
to be passed on by parents or ancestors; be inherited
to sink or come down in morals or behaviour; lower oneself
often foll by
on or upon.
to arrive or attack in a sudden or overwhelming way
their relatives descended upon them last week
(of the sun, moon, etc) to move towards the horizon
C13: from Old French
to climb; see
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
c.1300, from O.Fr.
, from L.
"to climb," from PIE base
"jump." Sense of "originate from" is late 14c. In typography,
"part of a letter that extends below the body" is from 1802.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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