AskDefine | Define descent

Dictionary Definition



1 a movement downward
2 properties attributable to your ancestry; "he comes from good origins" [syn: origin, extraction]
3 the act of changing your location in a downward direction
4 the kinship relation between an individual and the individual's progenitors [syn: line of descent, lineage, filiation]
5 a downward slope or bend [syn: declivity, fall, decline, declination, declension, downslope] [ant: ascent]
6 the descendants of one individual; "his entire lineage has been warriors" [syn: lineage, line, line of descent, bloodline, blood line, blood, pedigree, ancestry, origin, parentage, stemma, stock]

User Contributed Dictionary




From and descente, from descendre.


  1. An instance of descending
    We climbed the mountain with difficulty, but the descent was easier.
  2. A way down.
    We had difficulty in finding the correct descent.
  3. A sloping passage or incline.
    The descent into the cavern was wet and slippery.
  4. Lineage or hereditary derivation
    Our guide was of Welsh descent.
  5. A drop to a lower status or condition.
    After that, the holiday went into a steep descent.

Usage notes

  • Sometimes confused with decent.

Related terms



An instance of descending
A way down
A sloping passage or incline
lineage or hereditary derivation
A drop to a lower status or condition

Extensive Definition

Descent may refer to:
In film:
In gaming:
In literature:
In television:
descent in French: Descent

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Brownian movement, Indian file, abasement, advance, affiliation, altitude peak, angular motion, apparentation, array, articulation, ascending, ascent, automatic control, axial motion, backflowing, backing, backset, backward motion, bank, birth, blast-off, blood, bloodline, branch, breed, brood, burn, burnout, buzz, career, catena, catenation, ceiling, chain, chain reaction, chaining, characterize, check, children, climbing, comedown, coming after, common ancestry, communicate, concatenation, concavity, connection, consanguinity, consecution, consecutiveness, construe, continuation, continuity, continuum, course, current, cycle, de-escalation, debasement, decadence, decadency, declension, declination, decline, declivity, deflation, deformation, degeneracy, degenerateness, degeneration, degradation, delineate, demotion, depict, depravation, depravedness, depreciation, depression, derivation, derogation, descendants, descending, describe, deterioration, detrusion, devolution, diminution, dip, direct line, discomfiture, disgrace, distaff side, distinguish, down, downgate, downgrade, downhill, downtrend, downturn, downward mobility, downward motion, downward trend, drift, driftage, drone, drop, ducking, dump, dying, ebb, ebbing, effeteness, elucidate, embarrassment, end of burning, endless belt, endless round, exemplify, explain, explicate, expound, extension, extraction, fading, failing, failure, failure of nerve, fall, falling-off, family, female line, file, filiation, flight, flow, flux, following, forward motion, fruit, gamut, gradation, grade, gradient, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, hang, hangdog look, hanging, hauling down, heirs, hollowness, hostages to fortune, house, hum, humbled pride, humiliation, ignition, illustrate, image, impact, impart, incline, inheritors, interpret, involution, issue, kids, lapse, launch, letdown, lift-off, limn, line, line of descent, lineage, little ones, logical sequence, loss of tone, lowering, male line, monotone, mortification, mounting, narrate, new generation, nexus, oblique motion, offspring, ongoing, onrush, order, order of succession, origin, passage, pedigree, pendulum, periodicity, phylum, picture, plenum, plummeting, plunging, portray, posteriority, posterity, postposition, powder train, procession, progeny, progress, progression, prolongation, put-down, queue, race, radial motion, random motion, range, rank, recite, recount, recurrence, reduction, reflowing, refluence, reflux, regression, rehearse, render, report, reticulation, retrocession, retrogradation, retrogression, reversal, reverse, reverse of fortune, rise, rising, rising generation, rocket launching, rotation, round, routine, row, run, rush, scale, seed, self-abasement, self-abnegation, self-diminishment, sept, sequence, series, set, setback, setdown, severe check, shame, shamefacedness, shamefastness, shoot, shot, side, sideward motion, single file, sinking, slippage, slope, slump, soaring, sons, spear side, spectrum, spindle side, state, stem, sternway, stirps, stock, strain, stream, string, subjunction, submergence, subsiding, succession, successiveness, suffixation, swath, sword side, thread, throwback, thrusting under, tier, train, traject, trajectory, trajet, transmit, treasures, trend, upward motion, velocity peak, wane, windrow, younglings, youngsters
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