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descend

[dih-send] /dɪˈsɛnd/
verb (used without object)
1.
to go or pass from a higher to a lower place; move or come down:
to descend from the mountaintop.
2.
to pass from higher to lower in any scale or series.
3.
to go from generals to particulars, as in a discussion.
4.
to slope, tend, or lead downward:
The path descends to the pond.
5.
to be inherited or transmitted, as through succeeding generations of a family:
The title descends through eldest sons.
6.
to have a specific person or family among one's ancestors (usually followed by from):
He is descended from Cromwell.
7.
to be derived from something remote in time, especially through continuous transmission:
This festival descends from a druidic rite.
8.
to approach or pounce upon, especially in a greedy or hasty manner (followed by on or upon):
Thrill-seekers descended upon the scene of the crime.
9.
to settle, as a cloud or vapor.
10.
to appear or become manifest, as a supernatural being, state of mind, etc.:
Jupiter descended to humankind.
11.
to attack, especially with violence and suddenness (usually followed by on or upon):
to descend upon enemy soldiers.
12.
to sink or come down from a certain intellectual, moral, or social standard:
He would never descend to baseness.
13.
Astronomy. to move toward the horizon, as the sun or a star.
verb (used with object)
14.
to move downward upon or along; go or climb down (stairs, a hill, etc.).
15.
to extend or lead down along:
The path descends the hill.
Origin of descend
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English descenden < Old French descendre < Latin dēscendere, equivalent to dē- de- + -scendere, combining form of scandere to climb; cf. scansion
Related forms
descendingly, adverb
predescend, verb
redescend, verb
undescended, adjective
undescending, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for descend
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With a lowering face he watched her descend and, his hand on the newel, confronted her.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • The explosion had blown in the wall and cut off the only path by which they could descend.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • They could not now descend from the eminence on which they stood.

  • At this stage it is not necessary or desirable to descend to detail.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
  • The mountain that is easy to descend must soon be climbed again.

    The Biography of a Grizzly Ernest Seton-Thompson
British Dictionary definitions for descend

descend

/dɪˈsɛnd/
verb (mainly intransitive)
1.
(also transitive) to move, pass, or go down (a hill, slope, staircase, etc)
2.
(of a hill, slope, or path) to lead or extend down; slope; incline
3.
to move to a lower level, pitch, etc; fall
4.
(often foll by from) to be connected by a blood relationship (to a dead or extinct individual, race, species, etc)
5.
to be passed on by parents or ancestors; be inherited
6.
to sink or come down in morals or behaviour; lower oneself
7.
often foll by on or upon. to arrive or attack in a sudden or overwhelming way: their relatives descended upon them last week
8.
(of the sun, moon, etc) to move towards the horizon
Derived Forms
descendable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French descendre, from Latin dēscendere, from de- + scandere to climb; see scan
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 descend
v.

c.1300, from Old French descendre (10c.) "descend, dismount; fall into; originate in," from Latin descendere "come down, descend, sink," from de- "down" (see de-) + scandere "to climb," from PIE root *skand- "jump" (see scan (v.)). Sense of "originate" is late 14c. in English. Related: Descended; descending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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