Definition of descendant in English:

descendant

Line breaks: des¦cend|ant
Pronunciation: /dɪˈsɛnd(ə)nt
 
/

noun

  • 1A person, plant, or animal that is descended from a particular ancestor: she’s a descendant of Charles Darwin
    More example sentences
    • Most biologists consider it the direct descendant of the ancestor of the domesticated two-humped species.
    • People also expect the deceased to maintain interest in their descendants, as ancestral spirits.
    • Some of the plaintiffs are direct descendants of those early settlers.
    Synonyms
    successor, scion; offshoot, heir; (descendants) offspring, progeny, issue, family, lineage, line
    archaic posterity, seed, fruit, fruit of someone's loins
  • 1.1A machine, artefact, system, etc., that has developed from an earlier, more rudimentary version: house music is a descendant of disco
    More example sentences
    • The project is a direct descendant of the Learning Design Tools project and other predecessor projects in the E-learning and Pedagogy programme.
    • An argument can be made that since so many Cajun pioneers copied the Creole accordionist that Cajun music is a descendant of Creole music. But that's another column.
    • The internet is not the descendant of the telephone, nor has it replaced it.

Origin

late Middle English (as an adjective in the sense 'descending'): from French, present participle of descendre 'to descend' (see descend). The noun dates from the early 17th century.

Usage

The correct spelling for the noun meaning ‘person descended from a particular ancestor’ is descendant, not -ent. Descendent is a less common adjective meaning ‘descending from an ancestor’. Almost 15 per cent of the citations for the term in the Oxford English Corpus use the wrong spelling.

More definitions of descendant

Definition of descendant in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day skosh
Pronunciation: skōSH
noun
a small amount; a little