Definition of ascendant in US English:


(also ascendent)


  • 1Rising in power or influence.

    ‘ascendant moderate factions in the party’
    • ‘This hegemony was sanctioned by an ascendant authority, namely science.’
    • ‘Political and power compulsions were ascendant.’
    • ‘To do so would only risk alienating and provoking conflict with a rising Europe and an ascendant Asia.’
    • ‘Vast fortunes were made and an already wealthy city became the ascendant center of power in the new United States.’
    • ‘The growth of the exercise phenomenon was inexorably bound up with the ascendant women's movement.’
    • ‘A good book, written by one person for any number of selfish and unselfish reasons, goes against the clockwork agenda so ascendant everywhere in the world.’
    • ‘It's not that conservatism is on the wane; in fact I would argue that the great difficulty is that conservatism is the ascendant political philosophy in this country.’
    • ‘The contradictions between an ascendant democratic movement and a timeworn media oligarchy are extreme.’
    • ‘The supposed transfer of allegiance from the older, declining imperial power to the ascendant one oversimplifies Curtin's choice.’
    • ‘Less often considered is whether this ascendant legalism is good or bad for global prosperity and stability.’
    • ‘The euro was launched as a symbol of a new ascendant Europe.’
    • ‘The uneasy ceasefire between an authoritative church and an ascendant political class may be at an end.’
    • ‘The ascendant ideologies of domestic and foreign security share a nexus in privileging the rights of a state over the collective rights of its citizens.’
    • ‘The strategic decision by the United States to try and convince the Shah to share some of his power with the ascendant middle class was the result of a combination of factors.’
    • ‘Fair or not, that is the ascendant view of the moment.’
    • ‘The collectivist delusion was flatly incompatible with an international division of labor: When the former was ascendant, the latter could not survive.’
    • ‘This has an interesting counterpoint - the ascendent political correctness of the right.’
    • ‘During this period the conception of excessive drinking as a moral problem, as a vice demanding punishment, remained ascendant over the notion of alcoholism as a disease requiring treatment.’
    • ‘This is an exciting time for the written word: it is adapting to the ascendant medium, which happens to be the most immediate, universal, and democratic medium that has ever existed.’
    • ‘This was something of a milestone in Hollywood history, signaling the ascendant power of the producer over the director.’
    rising, rising in power, in the ascendant, on the up and up, on the way up, up-and-coming, on the rise, growing, increasing, flourishing, prospering, burgeoning, developing, budding
    View synonyms
  • 2Astrology
    (of a planet, zodiacal degree, or sign) just above the eastern horizon.

    • ‘Does anyone know a website where you can find out what your ascendent sign is?’
    • ‘The Astrofaces research project seeks to verify astrology for modern science with photographs grouped by the sun, moon and ascendant signs of the subjects.’
    • ‘Obviously, if the ascendant sign could be either of two signs, this greatly affects the evaluation.’
    • ‘It could be said that the Midheaven sign represents our life goal; the ascendant sign represents our way of achieving that goal, or our unconscious strategy for attaining it.’
    • ‘I make sure to read both my sun sign and my ascendant, Cancer and Leo respectively.’


  • The point on the ecliptic at which it intersects the eastern horizon at a particular time, typically that of a person's birth.

    • ‘He was certainly unaware of Pluto transiting the 1066 ascendant at the time of Cromwell's birth.’
    • ‘Saturn is considered a benefic and yogakarak for libra ascendants.’
    • ‘A neutral Saturn would probably err on the side of maturity through the Capricorn ascendant.’
    • ‘Your desire to take action comes from that very potent Mars that sits right on your Leo ascendant.’
    • ‘If not, then use the ascendant if the birth was preceded by a New Moon.’


  • in the ascendant

    • Rising in power or influence.

      ‘the reformers are in the ascendant’
      • ‘I leave the company in the ascendant, reporting a successful financial year,’ Mihailov said.’
      • ‘Part of it is also because he is on the party's liberal wing at a time when the right is in the ascendant.’
      • ‘The novel is a literary-critical battleground (with the feminists probably slightly in the ascendant at the moment).’
      • ‘Trafalgar is won; the British navy is in the ascendant.’
      • ‘By that time electronic telegraph was in the ascendent, and would grow to supplant the European semaphore networks.’
      • ‘Tories had already suffered losses in the Irish general election of 1713, at a time when the party was still in the ascendant in England.’
      • ‘With Choiseul gone, the devout party was in the ascendant and d' Aiguillon's appointment to the ministry imminent.’
      • ‘Are they now in the ascendant within the republican movement?’
      • ‘Consequently, the more romantic vision of community design emanating from the New Urbanists is in the ascendant.’
      • ‘Many of these architects are already in the ascendant with a small but growing body of work behind them.’
      • ‘Attendance at religious services rose; vocations increased; the credibility of the Irish Church and its leaders was in the ascendant as never before.’
      • ‘It is especially important to remember this now, when Faith is once more in the ascendant and Reason seems to be losing ground daily.’
      • ‘With the chancellor in the ascendant, the trade minister will be hoping for a promotion.’
      • ‘The politics section gets the most heated - sometimes it seems the right is in the ascendent, sometimes the left - but there's also some excellent news you might not get elsewhere.’
      • ‘At a time when absolutism, both in theory and in practice, seemed to be in the ascendant in the Western world, the importance of this transformation should not be underestimated.’
      • ‘When a star dies early, their career still in the ascendant, the tendency is to eulogise them for their unfulfilled potential.’
      • ‘Its president is consolidating power, its security services are in the ascendant, and its own businessmen are afraid to invest in its future.’
      • ‘Because historians are human beings, and most human beings are moved deeply by the Israel-Palestine conflict, the romantic school has recently been in the ascendant, at least in popular histories.’
      • ‘My call will not be very long, but I do point out to this House that the number of incidents of female prison officers getting involved with prisoners is in the ascendant.’
      • ‘Once again, the Zulu nation is in the ascendant.’


Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin ascendent- ‘climbing up’, from the verb ascendere (see ascend).