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Webster 1913 Edition


Descent

De-scent′

,
Noun.
[F.
descente
, fr.
descendre
; like
vente
, from
vendre
. See
Descend
.]
1.
The act of descending, or passing downward; change of place from higher to lower.
2.
Incursion; sudden attack; especially, hostile invasion from sea; – often followed by upon or on;
as, to make a
descent
upon the enemy
.
The United Provinces . . . ordered public prayer to God, when they feared that the French and English fleets would make a
descent
upon their coasts.
Jortin.
3.
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.
2.
Derivation, as from an ancestor; procedure by generation; lineage; birth; extraction.
Dryden.
5.
(Law)
Transmission of an estate by inheritance, usually, but not necessarily, in the descending line; title to inherit an estate by reason of consanguinity.
Abbott.
6.
Inclination downward; a descending way; inclined or sloping surface; declivity; slope;
as, a steep
descent
.
7.
That which is descended; descendants; issue.
If care of our
descent
perplex us most,
Which must be born to certain woe.
Milton.
8.
A step or remove downward in any scale of gradation; a degree in the scale of genealogy; a generation.
No man living is a thousand
descents
removed from Adam himself.
Hooker.
9.
Lowest place; extreme downward place.
[R.]
Syn. – Declivity; slope; degradation; extraction; lineage; assault; invasion; attack.

Webster 1828 Edition


Descent

DESCENT

, n.
1.
The act of descending; the act of passing from a higher to a lower place, by any form of motion, as by walking, riding, rolling, sliding, sinking or falling.
2.
Inclination downward; obliquity; slope; declivity; as the descent of a hill, or a roof.
3.
Progress downward; as the descent from higher to lower orders of beings.
4.
Fall from a higher to a lower state or station.
5.
A landing from ships; invasion of troops from the sea; as, to make a descent on Cuba.
6.
A passing from an ancestor to an heir; transmission by succession or inheritance, as the descent of an estate or a title from the father to the son. Descent is lineal, when it proceeds directly from the father to the son, and from the son to the grandson; collateral, when it proceeds from a man to his brother, nephew or other collateral representative.
7.
A proceeding from an original or progenitor. The Jews boast of their descent from Abraham. Hence,
8.
Birth; extraction; lineage; as a noble descent.
9.
A generation; a single degree in the scale of genealogy; distance from the common ancestor.
No man is a thousand descents from Adam.
10.
Offspring; issue; descendants.
The care of our descent perplexes most.
11.
A rank in the scale of subordination.
12.
Lowest place.
13.
In music, a passing from a note or sound to one more grave or less acute.

Definition 2022


descent

descent

English

Noun

descent (plural descents)

  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; decline. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
    After that, the holiday went into a steep descent.
  6. (topology) A particular extension of the idea of gluing. See Descent (mathematics).

Usage notes

  • Sometimes confused with decent.

Derived terms

Related terms

Antonyms

Translations

External links

  • descent in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • descent in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

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