- to go or pass from a higher to a lower place; move or come down: to descend from the mountaintop.
- to pass from higher to lower in any scale or series.
- to go from generals to particulars, as in a discussion.
- to slope, tend, or lead downward: The path descends to the pond.
- to be inherited or transmitted, as through succeeding generations of a family: The title descends through eldest sons.
- to have a specific person or family among one's ancestors (usually followed by from): He is descended from Cromwell.
- to be derived from something remote in time, especially through continuous transmission: This festival descends from a druidic rite.
- 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.
- to settle, as a cloud or vapor.
- to appear or become manifest, as a supernatural being, state of mind, etc.: Jupiter descended to humankind.
- to attack, especially with violence and suddenness (usually followed by on or upon): to descend upon enemy soldiers.
- to sink or come down from a certain intellectual, moral, or social standard: He would never descend to baseness.
- Astronomy. to move toward the horizon, as the sun or a star.
- to move downward upon or along; go or climb down (stairs, a hill, etc.).
- to extend or lead down along: The path descends the hill.
Origin of descend
Related Words for descendplunge, crash, collapse, tumble, dive, subside, settle, cascade, slide, plummet, swoop, slip, penetrate, disembark, trickle, dip, stumble, sink, degenerate, deteriorate
Examples from the Web for descend
Contemporary Examples of descend
Even before she could descend to tell her story, rumors were spreading to discredit her.Breaking Mount Everest’s Glass Ceiling
Amanda Padoan, Peter Zuckerman
March 30, 2014
Just one more note of caution before we descend down the rapids of morality and ethics.Never Forget? The CIA Report and the Problem With Hindsight
March 15, 2014
So they had to make me this waterproof renaissance gown and I would have to descend into the hot tub for rehearsal.Michaela Watkins: Fired From ‘SNL’ To Hollywood’s Funniest Scene-Stealer
March 4, 2014
So I never allow myself to take anything for granted (or the fanged writing gods will descend on me).Benjamin Percy: How I Write
June 5, 2013
And maybe, just maybe, there are black helicopters with United Nations decals about to descend on heartland America.The Obama Scandals Are Desperate Measures by the GOP
May 17, 2013
Historical Examples of descend
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.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
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
- (also tr) to move, pass, or go down (a hill, slope, staircase, etc)
- (of a hill, slope, or path) to lead or extend down; slope; incline
- to move to a lower level, pitch, etc; fall
- (often foll by from) to be connected by a blood relationship (to a dead or extinct individual, race, species, etc)
- to be passed on by parents or ancestors; be inherited
- to sink or come down in morals or behaviour; lower oneself
- (often foll by on or upon) to arrive or attack in a sudden or overwhelming waytheir relatives descended upon them last week
- (of the sun, moon, etc) to move towards the horizon
Word Origin for descend
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.