or as·cend·ent

[uh-sen-duh nt]


a position of dominance or controlling influence: possession of power, superiority, or preeminence: With his rivals in the ascendant, he soon lost his position.
an ancestor; forebear.
Astrology. the point of the ecliptic or the sign and degree of the zodiac rising above the eastern horizon at the time of a birth or event: the cusp of the first house.


ascending; rising.
superior; predominant.
Botany. directed or curved upward.

Origin of ascendant

1350–1400; Middle English ascendent < Latin ascendent- (stem of ascendēns) climbing up. See ascend, -ent, -ant
Related formsnon·as·cend·ant, adjectivenon·as·cend·ant·ly, adverbnon·as·cend·ent, adjectivenon·as·cend·ent·ly, adverbun·as·cend·ant, adjectiveun·as·cend·ent, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ascendant

Contemporary Examples of ascendant

Historical Examples of ascendant

  • Still, anything was liable to happen when his unlucky star was in the ascendant.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • At any rate, for more than fifteen years of his reign the king was in the ascendant.

  • Whether the bad might have gained the ascendant, or the good triumphed, I know not.

    Sir Jasper Carew

    Charles James Lever

  • Now it was the Bed Man, now Napoleon, who stood in the ascendant.

  • Then his instinct of fair play in the game took the ascendant.

    Blazed Trail Stories

    Stewart Edward White

British Dictionary definitions for ascendant




proceeding upwards; rising
dominant, superior, or influential
botany another term for ascending


rare an ancestor
a position or condition of dominance, superiority or control
astrology (sometimes capital)
  1. a point on the ecliptic that rises on the eastern horizon at a particular moment and changes as the earth rotates on its axis
  2. the sign of the zodiac containing this point
in the ascendant increasing in influence, prosperity, etc
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

Word Origin and History for ascendant

late 14c., ascendent, astrological use is earliest, from Middle French ascendant (noun and adjective) and directly from Latin ascendentem (nominative ascendans), present participle of ascendere "to mount, ascend, go up" (see ascend). Sense "moving upward, rising" is recorded from 1590s. In the ascendant "ruling, dominant" (not, as is often thought, "rising") is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper