Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To move from a higher to a lower place; come or go down.
  • intransitive verb To slope, extend, or incline downward.
  • intransitive verb To be related by genetic descent from an individual or individuals in a previous generation.
  • intransitive verb To come down from a source; derive.
  • intransitive verb To pass by inheritance.
  • intransitive verb To lower oneself; stoop.
  • intransitive verb To proceed or progress downward, as in rank, pitch, or scale.
  • intransitive verb To arrive or attack in a sudden or overwhelming manner.
  • intransitive verb To move from a higher to lower part of; go down.
  • intransitive verb To extend or proceed downward along.
  • idiom (be descended from) To be related to (an ancestor) by genetic descent from an individual or individuals in a previous generation.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To move or pass from a higher to a lower place; move, come, or go downward; fall; sink: as, he descended from the tower; the sun is descending.
  • To come or go down in a hostile manner; invade, as an enemy; fall violently: with on.
  • To proceed from a source or original; be derived lineally or by transmission; come or pass downward, as offspring in the line of generation, or as property from owner to heir.
  • To pass, as from general to particular statements: as, having explained the general subject, we will descend to particulars.
  • To come down from a certain moral or social standard; lower or abase one's self morally or socially: as, to descend to acts of meanness; to descend to an inferior position; hence, to condescend; stoop.
  • In astronomy, to move to the southward, or toward the south, as a star.
  • To move or pass downward upon or along; come or go down upon; pass from the top to the bottom of: as, to descend a hill; to descend an inclined plane.
  • In physical, to pass from higher to lower readings or values upon any scale: said specifically of the musical scale and of the thermometric scale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To go down upon or along; to pass from a higher to a lower part of
  • intransitive verb 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 opposite of ascend.
  • intransitive verb Poetic To enter mentally; to retire.
  • intransitive verb To make an attack, or incursion, as if from a vantage ground; to come suddenly and with violence; -- with on or upon.
  • intransitive verb To come down to a lower, less fortunate, humbler, less virtuous, or worse, state or station; to lower or abase one's self.
  • intransitive verb To pass from the more general or important to the particular or less important matters to be considered.
  • intransitive verb 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
  • intransitive verb (Anat.) To move toward the south, or to the southward.
  • intransitive verb (Mus.) To fall in pitch; to pass from a higher to a lower tone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb intransitive 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
  • verb intransitive To make an attack, or incursion, as if from a vantage ground; to come suddenly and with violence; -- with on or upon.
  • verb intransitive 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.
  • verb intransitive To pass from the more general or important to the particular or less important matters to be considered.
  • verb intransitive 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.
  • verb intransitive, anatomy To move toward the south, or to the southward.
  • verb intransitive, music To fall in pitch; to pass from a higher to a lower tone.
  • verb transitive 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb come from; be connected by a relationship of blood, for example
  • verb come as if by falling
  • verb move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
  • verb do something that one considers to be below one's dignity

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English descenden, from Old French descendre, from Latin dēscendere : dē-, de- + scandere, to climb; see skand- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English decenden, from Old French descendre, from Latin descendere, past participle descensus ("to come down, go down, fall, sink"), from de- ("down") + scandere ("to climb"). See scan, scandent. Compare ascend, condescend, transcend.

Examples

  • On this descend is a little lover's seat that gives an illusion of suspension in pictures taken there.

    Hari Hareshwar, Paradise Calling

  • On this descend is a little lover's seat that gives an illusion of suspension in pictures taken there.

    Archive 2007-12-01

  • It's hard to imagine that this mom-and-pop operation forced Owen Hart to wear a ridiculous costume and descend from the rafters at a pay-per-view -- a stunt which resulted in Owen falling to his death in front of tens of thousands of horrified fans.

    Dave Zirin: Linda McMahon's Body Count

  • I might not even wait to mock you: Sitting around and hoping for a Verizon iPhone to descend from the skies, year after year, starts to resemble cargo-cult behavior.

    Things I know about the 'Verizon iPhone' story

  • In both cases, you note, the groups descend from a common religious tradition but are now poles apart culturally.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » A Thought on American Jewish Demography

  • On the cornices are seven virtues and seven Archangels, while in the central line, the Holy Ghost descend from the Father upon the Son.

    Neuzelle Abbey

  • It's hard to imagine that this mom-and-pop operation forced Owen Hart to wear a ridiculous costume and descend from the rafters at a pay-per-view -- a stunt which resulted in Owen falling to his death in front of tens of thousands of horrified fans.

    Dave Zirin: Linda McMahon's Body Count

  • You take a escalator to the second floor showroom, which will deposit you at the start of a maze of stylish rooms, which you wander through, marking item numbers with a tiny golf pencil on your Ikea showroom map, so that hours later when you descend from the heavenly realms of design, you can actually find the items you want to purchase.

    The only reason to go to Ikea...

  • It's hard to imagine that this mom-and-pop operation forced Owen Hart to wear a ridiculous costume and descend from the rafters at a pay-per-view -- a stunt which resulted in Owen falling to his death in front of tens of thousands of horrified fans.

    Dave Zirin: Linda McMahon's Body Count

  • I might not even wait to mock you: Sitting around and hoping for a Verizon iPhone to descend from the skies, year after year, starts to resemble cargo-cult behavior.

    Faster Forward: Things I know about the 'Verizon iPhone' story

Comments

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  • The two then descended along another less travelled way

    August 22, 2015