de|scend [dıˈsend] v
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: descendre, from Latin scandere 'to climb']
1.) [I and T] formal
to move from a higher level to a lower one
≠ ↑ascend
Our plane started to descend.
I heard his footsteps descending the stairs.
descend to/from/into etc
The path continues for some way before descending to Garsdale Head.
2.) [i]literary
if darkness, silence, a feeling etc descends, it becomes dark etc or you start to feel something, especially suddenly
descend on/upon/over
Total silence descended on the room.
An air of gloom descended over the party headquarters.
3.) in descending order (of sth)
numbers, choices etc that are in descending order are arranged from the highest or most important to the lowest or least important
The hotels are listed in descending order of price.
descend from / [descend from sb/sth] phr v
1.) be descended from sb
to be related to a person or group who lived a long time ago
She claims to be descended from Abraham Lincoln.
The people here are descended from the Vikings.
2.) to have developed from something that existed in the past
ideas that descend from those of ancient philosophers
descend on/upon / [descend on/upon sb/sth] phr v
if a large number of people descend on a person or a place, they come to visit or stay, especially when they are not very welcome
Millions of tourists descend on the area every year.
descend to [descend to sth] phr v
to behave or speak in an unpleasant way, which is not the way you usually behave
Surely he wouldn't descend to such a mean trick?
descend to sb's level
(=behave or speak as badly as someone else)
Other people may gossip, but don't descend to their level.
HINT sense 1
It is more usual to say go down or come down .

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Descend — De*scend , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Descended}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Descending}.] [F. descendre, L. descendere, descensum; de + scandere to climb. See {Scan}.] 1. To pass from a higher to a lower place; to move downwards; to come or go down in any way,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • descend — ► VERB 1) move down or downwards. 2) slope or lead downwards. 3) (descend to) lower oneself to commit (a shameful act). 4) (descend on) make a sudden attack on or unwelcome visit to. 5) (be descended from) be a blood relative of (an a …   English terms dictionary

  • descend — c.1300, from O.Fr. descendre (10c.) descend, dismount; fall into; originate in, from L. descendere come down, descend, sink, from de down (see DE (Cf. de )) + scandere to climb, from PIE root *skand jump (see SCAN (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • descend — [v1] move down, lower a cascade, cataract, cave in*, coast, collapse, crash, crouch, decline, deplane, detrain, dip, disembark, dismount, dive, dribble*, drop, fall, fall prostrate, get down, get off, go down, gravitate, ground, incline, light,… …   New thesaurus

  • Descend — De*scend , v. t. To go down upon or along; to pass from a higher to a lower part of; as, they descended the river in boats; to descend a ladder. [1913 Webster] But never tears his cheek descended. Byron. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • descend — de·scend /di send/ vi: to pass by inheritance de·scen·di·bil·i·ty / ˌsen də bi lə tē/ n de·scend·ible / sen də bəl/ adj Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • descend on — index attack Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • descend — descend, dismount, alight mean to get or come down from a height. One descends when one climbs down a slope (as of a hill or mountain), a ladder, a step, a stair, a wall, or a tree; one dismounts when one gets down from a horse or from a bicycle… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • descend — [dē send′, disend′] vi. [ME descenden < OFr descendre < L descendere, to climb down, fall < de , down + scandere, to climb < ? IE base * skend , * skand , to leap > Gr skandalon (> SCANDAL), Sans Skandati, (he) leaps] 1. to move …   English World dictionary

  • descend — verb 1 (I, T) formal to move from a higher level to a lower one: The plane started to descend. (+ from): He descended slowly from the railway carriage. | descend sth: Mrs Danvers descended the stairs. opposite ascend 2 (I) literary if darkness,… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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