To ascend is to move or travel upwards. You can do this literally, like when you ascend to 35,000 feet after your plane takes off, or figuratively, like when you win the lottery and ascend to a higher social class.

Riding the escalators in the department store is one way to amuse yourself while your parents shop. You can ascend all the way to the 8th floor, and then descend back to the ground floor. Both ascend and descend come from the Latin verb scandere, which means "to climb." It's the prefixes that make all the difference. The a- of ascend makes the word mean "climb up," while the de- of its antonym makes descend mean "climb down."

Definitions of ascend
  1. verb
    travel up, "We ascended the mountain"
    “The mountaineers slowly ascended the steep slope”
    synonyms: go up
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    come down, descend, fall, go down
    move downward and lower, but not necessarily all the way
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    come up, rise, rise up, surface
    come to the surface
    ascend as a sound
    come up to the surface of or rise
    reappear on the surface
    bubble up, intumesce
    move upwards in bubbles, as from the effect of heating; also used metaphorically
    swell, well
    come up, as of a liquid
    type of:
    go, locomote, move, travel
    change location; move, travel, or proceed, also metaphorically
  2. verb
    appear to be moving upward, as by means of tendrils
    synonyms: climb up
  3. verb
    go along towards (a river's) source
    “The boat ascended the Delaware”
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    type of:
    follow, travel along
    travel along a certain course
  4. verb
    slope upwards
    “The path ascended to the top of the hill”
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    type of:
    incline, pitch, slope
    be at an angle
  5. verb
    come up, of celestial bodies
    “Jupiter ascends
    synonyms: come up, rise, uprise
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    go down, go under, set
    disappear beyond the horizon
    type of:
    arise, come up, go up, lift, move up, rise, uprise
    move upward
  6. verb
    move to a better position in life or to a better job
    synonyms: move up, rise
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    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  7. verb
    become king or queen
    “She ascended to the throne after the King's death”
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    type of:
    accede, enter
    take on duties or office
  8. verb
    go back in order of genealogical succession
    “Inheritance may not ascend linearly”
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    type of:
    date back, date from, go back
    belong to an earlier time
Word Family

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