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2017 Word of the Year

descendant

[dih-sen-duh nt] /dɪˈsɛn dənt/
noun
1.
a person or animal that is descended from a specific ancestor; an offspring.
2.
something deriving in appearance, function, or general character from an earlier form.
3.
an adherent who follows closely the teachings, methods, practices, etc., of an earlier master, as in art, music, philosophy, etc.; disciple.
4.
Astrology.
  1. the point opposite the ascendant.
  2. the point of the ecliptic or the sign and degree of the zodiac setting below the western horizon at the time of a birth or of an event.
  3. the cusp of the seventh house.
adjective
Origin of descendant
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English descendaunt (adj.) < Old French descendant, present participle of descendre. See descend, -ant
Can be confused
ancestor, descendant.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for descendant
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Jock of Norfolk" is represented by a descendant of noble impulses.

  • It was nothing—only the quip of a witty fellow, descendant of a Spanish freebooter.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • Algernon Sidney, beheaded on Tower Hill, was his descendant.

  • Imagine the look he would bestow on his descendant as I sat down to table.

    Sir Jasper Carew Charles James Lever
  • With Cyrus, the descendant of Achæmenes, the real history of Persia begins.

    Les Parsis D. Menant
British Dictionary definitions for descendant

descendant

/dɪˈsɛndənt/
noun
1.
a person, animal, or plant when described as descended from an individual, race, species, etc
2.
something that derives or is descended from an earlier form
adjective
3.
a variant spelling of descendent

Descendant

/dɪˈsɛndənt/
noun
1.
(astrology) the point on the ecliptic lying directly opposite the Ascendant
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 descendant

mid-15c. (adj.), c.1600 (n.), from French descendant (13c.), present participle of descendre (see descend). Despite a tendency to use descendent for the adjective and descendant for the noun, descendant seems to be prevailing in all uses and appears 5 times more often than its rival in books printed since 1900. Cf. dependant.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for descendant

14
17
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