AskDefine | Define descend

Dictionary Definition

descend

Verb

1 move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way; "The temperature is going down"; "The barometer is falling"; "The curtain fell on the diva"; "Her hand went up and then fell again" [syn: fall, go down, come down] [ant: rise, ascend]
2 come from; be connected by a relationship of blood, for example; "She was descended from an old Italian noble family"; "he comes from humble origins" [syn: derive, come]
3 do something that one considers to be below one's dignity [syn: condescend, deign]
4 come as if by falling; "Night fell"; "Silence fell" [syn: fall, settle]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

From French descendre, Latin descendere, descensum; de- + scandere (meaning to climb). See scan.

Pronunciation

Verb

  1. To pass from a higher to a lower place; to move downwards; to come or go down in any way, as by falling, flowing, walking, etc.; to plunge; to fall; to incline downward
    The rain descended, and the floods came. Matthew vii. 25.
    We will here descend to matters of later date. Fuller.
  2. To enter mentally; to retire. [Poetic]
    [He] with holiest meditations fed, Into himself descended. Milton.
  3. To make an attack, or incursion, as if from a vantage ground; to come suddenly and with violence; -- with on or upon.
    And on the suitors let thy wrath descend. Pope.
  4. To come down to a lower, less fortunate, humbler, less virtuous, or worse, state or station; to lower or abase one's self; as, he descended from his high estate.
  5. To pass from the more general or important to the particular or less important matters to be considered.
  6. To come down, as from a source, original, or stock; to be derived; to proceed by generation or by transmission; to fall or pass by inheritance; as, the beggar may descend from a prince; a crown descends to the heir.
  7. intransitive anatomy To move toward the south, or to the southward.
  8. intransitive music To fall in pitch; to pass from a higher to a lower tone.
  9. To go down upon or along; to pass from a higher to a lower part of; as, they descended the river in boats; to descend a ladder.
    But never tears his cheek descended. Byron.

Derived terms

Related terms

Antonyms

French

Verb

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

advance, alight, ascend, assault, attack, back, back up, bank, be shamed, budge, cant, careen, cascade, cataract, change, change hands, change ownership, change place, circle, climb, climb down, collapse, come down, come in, condescend, crash, crash-land, decline, degenerate, deign, derogate, descend on, devolve, dip, dip down, disimprove, disintegrate, ditch, down, downwind, drop, drop down, drop off, ebb, fall, fall away, fall down, fall into disrepute, fall off, flow, get down, get over, go, go around, go down, go downhill, go round, go sideways, go uphill, grade, gravitate, gyrate, head, incline, incur discredit, incur disesteem, incur disgrace, invade, keel, land, lead, lean, level off, light, list, lose altitude, lose caste, lose countenance, lose credit, lose face, lower, lower oneself, mount, move, move over, overshoot, pancake, parachute, pass on, pitch, plummet, plunge, point, pounce, pounce on, pounce upon, pour down, precipitate, progress, rain, rake, regress, retreat, retrograde, retrogress, rise, rot, rotate, run, settle, settle down, shelve, shift, sidle, sink, slant, slope, soar, spin, stir, stoop, stream, subside, succeed, swag, sway, swoop, swoop down on, swoop down upon, talk down, tend, tend to go, tilt, tip, touch down, travel, trend downward, uprise, upwind, vouchsafe, wane, whirl, worsen
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