descend: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (di-send'), [key]
— v.i.
  1. to go or pass from a higher to a lower place; move or come down: to descend from the mountaintop.
  2. to pass from higher to lower in any scale or series.
  3. to go from generals to particulars, as in a discussion.
  4. to slope, tend, or lead downward: The path descends to the pond.
  5. to be inherited or transmitted, as through succeeding generations of a family: The title descends through eldest sons.
  6. to have a specific person or family among one's ancestors (usually fol. by from): He is descended from Cromwell.
  7. to be derived from something remote in time, esp. through continuous transmission: This festival descends from a druidic rite.
  8. to approach or pounce upon, esp. in a greedy or hasty manner (fol. by on or upon): Thrill-seekers descended upon the scene of the crime.
  9. to settle, as a cloud or vapor.
  10. to appear or become manifest, as a supernatural being, state of mind, etc.: Jupiter descended to humankind.
  11. to attack, esp. with violence and suddenness (usually fol. by on or upon): to descend upon enemy soldiers.
  12. to sink or come down from a certain intellectual, moral, or social standard: He would never descend to baseness.
  13. to move toward the horizon, as the sun or a star.
  1. to move downward upon or along; go or climb down (stairs, a hill, etc.).
  2. to extend or lead down along: The path descends the hill.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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