Pronunciation: (di-send'), [key]
1. to go or pass from a higher to a lower place; move or come down: to descend from the mountaintop.
2. to pass from higher to lower in any scale or series.
3. to go from generals to particulars, as in a discussion.
4. to slope, tend, or lead downward: The path descends to the pond.
5. to be inherited or transmitted, as through succeeding generations of a family: The title descends through eldest sons.
6. to have a specific person or family among one's ancestors (usually fol. by from): He is descended from Cromwell.
7. to be derived from something remote in time, esp. through continuous transmission: This festival descends from a druidic rite.
8. to approach or pounce upon, esp. in a greedy or hasty manner (fol. by on or upon): Thrill-seekers descended upon the scene of the crime.
9. to settle, as a cloud or vapor.
10. to appear or become manifest, as a supernatural being, state of mind, etc.: Jupiter descended to humankind.
11. to attack, esp. with violence and suddenness (usually fol. by on or upon): to descend upon enemy soldiers.
12. to sink or come down from a certain intellectual, moral, or social standard: He would never descend to baseness.
13. Astron.to move toward the horizon, as the sun or a star.
1. to move downward upon or along; go or climb down (stairs, a hill, etc.).
2. to extend or lead down along: The path descends the hill.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.