A woman descending some stairs.
- An example of descend is when a plane starts to move down or descend before landing.
- An example of descend is when a hill goes in a downward direction.
- An example of descend is when a musician starts to lower his voice and sing deeper notes.
- An example of descend is when you slip into being insane.
- An example of descend is when a party gets out of control and turns into chaos.
- An example of descend is when your in-laws show up at your house for a surprise visit.
To descend is defined as to go downward, to become lower in pitch, reaching an undesirable state or can refer to a surprise attack or unwelcome visit.
- to move from a higher to a lower place; come down or go down
- to pass from an earlier to a later time, from greater to less, from general to particular, etc.
- to slope or extend downward
- to come down (from a source, as from an ancestor): usually with auxiliary be: he is descended from pioneers
- to pass by inheritance or heredity: the estate descended to the nephew
- to lower oneself or stoop (to some act)
- to make a sudden attack, raid, or visit (on or upon)
- Astron. to move toward the horizon
- Music to move down the scale
Origin of descendMiddle English descenden ; from Old French descendre ; from Classical Latin descendere, to climb down, fall ; from de-, down + scandere, to climb ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European base an unverified form skend-, an unverified form skand-, to leap from source Classical Greek skandalon (from source scandal), Sanskrit skandati, (he) leaps
to move, step, or pass down or down along
verbde·scend·ed, de·scend·ing, de·scends
- To move from a higher to a lower place; come or go down.
- To slope, extend, or incline downward: “A rough path descended like a steep stair into the plain” (J.R.R. Tolkien).
- a. To be related by genetic descent from an individual or individuals in a previous generation: He descends from Norwegian immigrants.b. To come down from a source; derive: a tradition descending from colonial days.c. To pass by inheritance: The house has descended through four generations.
- To lower oneself; stoop: “She, the conqueror, had descended to the level of the conquered” (James Bryce).
- To proceed or progress downward, as in rank, pitch, or scale: titles listed in descending order of importance; notes that descended to the lower register.
- To arrive or attack in a sudden or overwhelming manner: summer tourists descending on the seashore village.
- To move from a higher to lower part of; go down: I descended the staircase into the basement.
- To extend or proceed downward along: a road that descended the mountain in sharp curves.
Origin of descendMiddle English descenden, from Old French descendre, from Latin dēscendere : dē-, de- + scandere, to climb; see skand- in Indo-European roots.
- de·scend′i·ble, de·scend′a·ble
(third-person singular simple present descends, present participle descending, simple past and past participle descended)
- (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
- (intransitive, poetic) To enter mentally; to retire.
- [He] with holiest meditations fed, Into himself descended. John Milton.
- (intransitive, with on or upon) To make an attack, or incursion, as if from a vantage ground; to come suddenly and with violence.
- And on the suitors let thy wrath descend. Alexander Pope.
- (intransitive) To come down to a lower, less fortunate, humbler, less virtuous, or worse, state or station; to lower or abase one's self
- he descended from his high estate
- (intransitive) To pass from the more general or important to the particular or less important matters to be considered.
- (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.
- the beggar may descend from a prince
- a crown descends to the heir
- (intransitive, anatomy) To move toward the south, or to the southward.
- (intransitive, music) To fall in pitch; to pass from a higher to a lower tone.
- To go down upon or along; to pass from a higher to a lower part of
- they descended the river in boats; to descend a ladder
- But never tears his cheek descended. Byron.