What does descent mean?

Definitions for descent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word descent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. descentnoun

    a movement downward

  2. origin, descent, extractionnoun

    properties attributable to your ancestry

    "he comes from good origins"

  3. descentnoun

    the act of changing your location in a downward direction

  4. descent, line of descent, lineage, filiationnoun

    the kinship relation between an individual and the individual's progenitors

  5. descent, declivity, fall, decline, declination, declension, downslopenoun

    a downward slope or bend

  6. lineage, line, line of descent, descent, bloodline, blood line, blood, pedigree, ancestry, origin, parentage, stemma, stocknoun

    the descendants of one individual

    "his entire lineage has been warriors"


  1. descentnoun

    An instance of descending

    We climbed the mountain with difficulty, but the descent was easier.

  2. descentnoun

    A way down.

    We had difficulty in finding the correct descent.

  3. descentnoun

    A sloping passage or incline.

    The descent into the cavern was wet and slippery.

  4. descentnoun

    Lineage or hereditary derivation

    Our guide was of Welsh descent.

  5. descentnoun

    A drop to a lower status or condition.

    After that, the holiday went into a steep descent.

  6. Etymology: From and descente, from descendre; see descend. Compare ascent, ascend.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Descentnoun

    Etymology: descensus, Latin; descente, French.

    Why do fragments, from a mountain rent,
    Tend to the earth with such a swift descent? Richard Blackmore.

    Observing such gradual and gentle descents downwards, in those parts of the creation that are beneath men, the rule of analogy may make it probable, that it is so also in things above. John Locke.

    The heads and sources of rivers flow upon a descent, or an inclining plane, without which they could not flow at all. John Woodward, Natural History, p. iii.

    From th’ extremest upward of thy head,
    To the descent and dust below thy feet,
    A most toad-spotted traitor. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    At the first descent on shore, he was not immured with a wooden vessel, but he did countenance the landing in his long-boat. Henry Wotton.

    The duke was general himself, and made that unfortunate descent upon the Isle of Ree, which was attended with a miserable retreat, in which the flower of the army was lost. Edward Hyde.

    Arise, true judges, in your own defence,
    Controul those foplings, and declare for sense;
    For should the fools prevail, they stop not there,
    But make their next descent upon the fair. Dryden.

    If the agreement and consent of men first gave a sceptre into any one’s hand, that also must direct its descent and conveyance. John Locke.

    All of them, even without such a particular claim, had great reason to glory in their common descent from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom the promise of the blessed seed was severally made. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    I give my voice on Richard’s side,
    To bar my master’s heirs in true descent!
    God knows, I will not do it. William Shakespeare, Richard III.

    Turnus, for high descent and graceful mien,
    Was first, and favour’d by the Latian queen. John Dryden, Æn.

    The care of our descent perplexes us most,
    Which must be born to certain woe. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    From him
    His whole descent, who thus shall Canaan win. John Milton, P. L.

    No man living is a thousand descents removed from Adam himself. Richard Hooker, b. iii. s. 1.

    Then all the sons of these five brethren reign’d
    By due success, and all their nephews late,
    Even thrice eleven descents the crown retain’d,
    ’Till aged Heli by due heritage it gain’d. Fairy Queen, b. ii.

    How have I then, with whom to hold converse,
    Save with the creatures which I made, and those
    To me inferior; infinite descents
    Beneath what other creatures are to thee. John Milton, P. Lost.


  1. descent

    Descent refers to the action or process of moving or falling downward, the origin or background of an individual in terms of family or nationality, or inheritance of genetic properties. It can also refer to a person's cultural, social or genealogical lineage from their ancestors. The term is used across various fields like physics, biology, sociology, and anthropology.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Descentnoun

    the act of descending, or passing downward; change of place from higher to lower

  2. Descentnoun

    incursion; sudden attack; especially, hostile invasion from sea; -- often followed by upon or on; as, to make a descent upon the enemy

  3. Descentnoun

    progress downward, as in station, virtue, as in station, virtue, and the like, from a higher to a lower state, from a higher to a lower state, from the more to the less important, from the better to the worse, etc

  4. Descentnoun

    derivation, as from an ancestor; procedure by generation; lineage; birth; extraction

  5. Descentnoun

    transmission of an estate by inheritance, usually, but not necessarily, in the descending line; title to inherit an estate by reason of consanguinity

  6. Descentnoun

    inclination downward; a descending way; inclined or sloping surface; declivity; slope; as, a steep descent

  7. Descentnoun

    that which is descended; descendants; issue

  8. Descentnoun

    a step or remove downward in any scale of gradation; a degree in the scale of genealogy; a generation

  9. Descentnoun

    lowest place; extreme downward place

  10. Descentnoun

    a passing from a higher to a lower tone


  1. Descent

    Descent is a 3D first-person shooter video game developed by Parallax Software and released by Interplay on March 17, 1995. The game features six degrees of freedom gameplay and garnered several expansion packs. It spawned two direct sequels: Descent II and Descent 3. The trademark registration for Descent was allowed to lapse by Interplay in 2002 and was re-registered in 2008.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. descent

    The landing of troops for the purpose of invading a country. The passage down a river.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'descent' in Nouns Frequency: #2854

How to pronounce descent?

How to say descent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of descent in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of descent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of descent in a Sentence

  1. Chief Executive Officer Richard Edelman:

    NGOs were a rocket ship going up but we are now seeing their descent. The NGO sector is seen as important enough to take seriously and judge if it is performing or not.

  2. Scott C. Holstad:

    Winter is a long descent Into hell, a daring Kidnapper, on whose lips Rest the word always. Look upon it as the rains Do, leafless trees blowing Earthward like constraints, Shackles of the soul.

  3. Electricity Minister Luis Motta:

    It's still going down, but we're slowing the descent in hope rain comes.

  4. Astronaut Scott Kelly:

    We checked them to make sure that they were still going to protect us if we needed to use them, we have some kind of on-orbit training that covers the descent procedures, so we're fresh with those. We talked to the specialists on the ground about all operations from the time we close the hatch until the time we get pulled out of the Soyuz. So, it's a pretty busy time. It's important, clearly, when you're coming back from space that we get everything right.

  5. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez:

    The climb has been difficult, the descent will also be.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for descent

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"descent." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/descent>.

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    flee; take to one's heels; cut and run
    A embellish
    B scarper
    C abhor
    D emanate

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