Definition of ascend in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈsend/


1 [with object] Go up or climb: she ascended the stairs [no object]: new magmas were created and ascended to the surface
More example sentences
  • Upon entering and ascending the stairs, we checked our coats and stepped into what would become quite the memorable evening.
  • A few minutes (hours, millennia) later, the security guard ascended the stairs behind me.
  • At the end of the interval he ascended the stairs.
climb, go up/upward, move up/upward, rise (up), clamber (up);
mount, scale, conquer;
take to the air, take off;
1.1Climb to the summit of (a mountain or hill): the first traveler to ascend the mountain
More example sentences
  • The climbers will ascend the mountains of Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in Wales as part of their trek.
  • This meant that in a 43-year period, 61 Chinese mountaineers have ascended the peak on 14 occasions.
  • However, a botanist who climbed many peaks in Colorado, Edwin James, ascended the mountain in 1820.
1.2(Of a fish or boat) move upstream along (a river).
Example sentences
  • These fish were probably in the vicinity ‘picking off’ the salmon as they were about to ascend the River Wear to spawn.
  • fish of the genus Alosa in the herring family, normally live in the sea but ascend rivers in the spring to spawn; and that is when they are caught and are at their best for eating.
  • Adults enter the Columbia River in June and July, ascending the river at about 13 miles per day.
2 [no object] Rise through the air: we had ascended 3,000 ft
More example sentences
  • As the lift ascends, it passes the Great East Window, giving a close-up view of the toll the weather and environment has taken on the glass and masonry over the past six centuries.
  • Everyone looked over, stared at Carmen, then proceeded to mumble their greetings and introductions as the lift ascended.
  • Reciler followed and the lift started to ascend automatically.
2.1(Of a road or flight of steps) slope or lead up: the road ascends to the lake
More example sentences
  • Leading up to the lobby, its glass doors proudly displaying the Union symbol in frosted white, was a wide flight of steps, ascending gently from the sidewalk.
  • As the road ascends from the green covered hillside to the cactus covered plains, it quickly gets colder, especially as it approaches the snow-capped mountains at around 5,000 metres.
  • Climbing this leads to the base of an unstable boulder slope which ascends into Cape Kennedy Chamber with its impressive array of stalagmites.
2.2Move up the social or professional scale: he took exams to ascend through the ranks some executives ascend to top-level positions
More example sentences
  • Though it was too late for him to become an Acolyte, this would insure that he would ascend through the ranks quickly.
  • In addition, there are bit players and extras, who may or may not ascend through the ranks to become stars or character actors.
  • As in the lines-of-business, actors in the studio stock system could ascend through the ranks, from extra to lead.
2.3(Of a spiritual being or soul) rise into heaven: the Prophet ascended to heaven (as adjective ascended) the risen and ascended Christ
More example sentences
  • Being engrossed and motionless, she indicated that she saw these souls ascending to heaven.
  • He dies on the spot for his crime, but all see his soul ascend to heaven thanks to Brendan's intercession.
  • No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
2.4(Of a voice or sound) rise in pitch: Carolyn’s voice had ascended into high-pitched giggles
More example sentences
  • The voice was ascending rapidly up the pitch scale, finally cracking.
  • Starting on C major, they ascend in pitch utilizing the key signatures that employ no more than four sharps or fiats.
  • The song begins with a haunting keyboard intro, laced with sound effects, and ascends into a bright, airy, romantic ballad with a chant-like quality.


ascend the throne

Become king or queen.
Example sentences
  • Within the span of 20 years, fragmentary records indicate that no less than 18 kings and possibly one queen ascended the throne with nominal control over the country.
  • He was a petty thief jailed for 15 years, but released by King Abdullah in a traditional amnesty given when the king ascended the throne.
  • Since no king ascended the throne after him, that calendar remained in use as the Yazdgerdi calendar.


Late Middle English: from Latin ascendere, from ad- 'to' + scandere 'to climb'.

  • scale from Middle English:

    English has three main words scale, two of which share an ancestry. The scale of fishes and reptiles has the same root as the scale used for weighing, and both are related to shell. The first scale is the one in the scales fall from someone's eyes, ‘someone is no longer deceived’. In the biblical Acts of the Apostles the expression describes how St Paul, blinded by his vision on the road to Damascus, was given his sight back by God. The weighing scale had the early sense ‘drinking cup’(a meaning which survives in South African English) which probably transferred to the pans of the scales. It comes from Old Norse skál ‘bowl’, also source of the drinking toast skol. The scale in music and measuring derives from Latin scala ‘ladder’, from the root of scandere ‘to climb’, an element in ascend, descend, and condescend, all Late Middle English. See also echelon, scan

Words that rhyme with ascend

amend, append, apprehend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: as·cend

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