Descent De*scent", n. [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. [1913 Webster]

2. Incursion; sudden attack; especially, hostile invasion from sea; -- often followed by upon or on; as, to make a descent upon the enemy. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

2. Derivation, as from an ancestor; procedure by generation; lineage; birth; extraction. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

6. Inclination downward; a descending way; inclined or sloping surface; declivity; slope; as, a steep descent. [1913 Webster]

7. That which is descended; descendants; issue. [1913 Webster]

If care of our descent perplex us most, Which must be born to certain woe. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

8. A step or remove downward in any scale of gradation; a degree in the scale of genealogy; a generation. [1913 Webster]

No man living is a thousand descents removed from Adam himself. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

9. Lowest place; extreme downward place. [R.] [1913 Webster]

And from the extremest upward of thy head, To the descent and dust below thy foot. --Shak.

10. (Mus.) A passing from a higher to a lower tone.

Syn: Declivity; slope; degradation; extraction; lineage; assault; invasion; attack. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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