View synonyms for descend


[ dih-send ]

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)

  1. to move downward upon or along; go or climb down (stairs, a hill, etc.).
  2. to extend or lead down along:

    The path descends the hill.


/ dɪˈsɛnd /


  1. also tr 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 byon 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

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Derived Forms

  • desˈcendable, adjective
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Other Words From

  • de·scend·ing·ly adverb
  • pre·de·scend verb
  • re·de·scend verb
  • un·de·scend·ing adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of descend1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English descenden, from Old French descendre, from Latin dēscendere, equivalent to dē- de- + -scendere, combining form of scandere “to climb”; scansion
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Word History and Origins

Origin of descend1

C13: from Old French descendre, from Latin dēscendere, from de- + scandere to climb; see scan
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Example Sentences

Just because someone has descended into QAnon doesn’t mean they can’t come back from it.

Newspaper reporters spouted them 24 years ago this month when the media descended to cover the 1996 GOP National Convention, more than two decades after our first bid for a Republican confab went kablooey.

It descends upside down, like a giant knife, above Cain and Abel.

After “hopping” into the air, the vehicle skirted sideways a little before coming back to the ground, deploying six landing legs before successfully descending.

If you could shrink small enough to descend the genetic helix of any animal, plant, fungus, bacterium or virus on Earth as though it were a spiral staircase, you would always find yourself turning right — never left.

Earlier this month, Toledo, Ohio, watched its municipal water supply descend into an undrinkable stew of algal toxins.

Even before she could descend to tell her story, rumors were spreading to discredit her.

Just one more note of caution before we descend down the rapids of morality and ethics.

Thousands of bands descend on Austin, Texas, for the South By Southwest music festival.

So they had to make me this waterproof renaissance gown and I would have to descend into the hot tub for rehearsal.

As he was about to descend the tree to feed upon his victim, his wicked eyes saw the hunters for the first time.

Laidlaw said nothing, but sprang to the head of the ladder, got carefully upon it, and began steadily to descend with Susy.

This contempt for the masses they cherish until they have to descend from Parnassus and enter the public service.

When about to descend himself, his brother cuts the cord and leaves him a prisoner on the mountain.

Courage, my child,” he says; “see, we have gone a great distance; to-morrow before sundown we shall descend in Belgium.





Descartes, Renédescendant