The Meaning of Ascension: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of ascension? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word ascension, including its etymology, meaning, example sentences and more!

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What does the word ascension mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language as well as other dictionaries like Collins English Dictionary and American Heritage, the word ascension is a noun that refers to the act or process of going up, or a change of location to a place that is higher. The proper noun Ascension is also the geographical name for an isolated island in the South Atlantic. This island belongs to the British colony of St Helena. It is about 34 sq mi and 88 sq km, with a population of 1400. The pronunciation of ascension is əˈsɛnʃən. 

According to Wordnik, the word ascension can also be used in astrology and astronomy. The right ascension of a star or point of the sphere is the arc of the equator intercepted between its circle of declination and the vernal equinox or first point of Aries, as well as the rising of a star above a horizon. Astronomy studies celestial bodies and the celestial sphere. In Christianity, the Feast of the Ascension is celebrated 40 days after Easter in both Eastern and Western Christianity. According to Britannica, prior to the 4th century, the celebration of the ascension of Christ in Jerusalem was commemorated as a part of the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This is referenced in much liturgy, in Psalms, Ephesians, and the Acts of the Apostles. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean ascension. You may notice that many of these translations of ascension look similar to the word ascension. These are called cognates, which are often created when two words have the same root or language of origin. This list of translations is provided by Word Sense

  •  Galician: ascensión‎ (fem.)
  •  Bulgarian: издигане‎, изкачване‎, възход‎
  •  Maori: kakenga‎
  •  Bashkir: күтәрелеү‎, ҡалҡыу‎
  •  Dutch: hemelvaart‎
  •  Finnish: nouseminen‎, nousu‎
  •  French: ascension‎ (fem.)
  •  Russian: подъём‎ (masc.)
  •  Asturian: ascensión‎ (fem.)
  •  Czech: stoupání‎, vzestup‎
  •  Portuguese: ascensão‎ (fem.)
  •  Georgian: ამაღლება‎, ასვლა‎, აღმასვლა‎
  •  Italian: ascensione‎ (fem.)
  •  Welsh: esgyniad‎ (masc.)
  •  Hungarian: felszállás‎, felemelkedés‎
  •  Spanish: ascensión‎ (fem.)
  •  Catalan: ascensió‎ (fem.)
  •  German: Aufstieg‎ (masc.), Aufsteigen‎ (neut.)

What is the origin of the word ascension?

According to Etymonline, the word ascension has been used since the year 1300 to refer to the ascent of Jesus Christ from earth into Heaven in the presence of his disciples on the 40th day after the Resurrection in the New Testament in Christianity. This comes from the Latin ascensionem, from the nominative ascensio, meaning a rising. This noun comes from the past-participle stem of ascendere, meaning to mound to ascend. The ascension is commemorated in the Christian and Catholic Church as Holy Thursday around Easter. This has been used in an astronomical sense since the late 14th century, and to mean the action of ascending since the 1590s. Related words include ascensional and ascend.

What are synonyms and antonyms for the word ascension?

There are many different words that have the same definition as the word ascension, which can be used in its place. Knowing synonyms is useful if you are trying not to repeat yourself or if you are trying to expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  ascending
  •  mounting
  •  towering
  •  climbing
  •  ascent
  •  rising
  •  soaring
  •  rise
  •  spring
  •  ascendance
  •  scaling
  •  flying
  •  take off
  •  escalating
  •  climb
  •  clambering
  •  lift

There are also many different words that have the opposite meaning as the word ascension. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are also useful to learn if you want to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms for the word ascension is also provided by Thesaurus.

  •  grade
  •  descent
  •  precipitation
  •  declension
  •  tumble
  •  fall
  •  gradient
  •  sinking
  •  coast
  •  droop
  •  settlement
  •  topple
  •  downgrade
  •  coming down
  •  declination
  •  plummeting
  •  decline
  •  inclination
  •  drop
  •  prolapse
  •  landslide
  •  plunging
  •  tailspin
  •  sag
  •  hill
  •  slip
  •  crash
  •  declivity
  •  cave-in
  •  swoop
  •  plunge
  •  slant
  •  dip
  •  falling
  •  header
  •  sinkage
  •  incline
  •  lowering
  •  slide
  •  slope
  •  drop-off

How can one use the word ascension in a sentence?

The word ascension can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definition, as well as making quizzes or flashcards to study the definition of the word ascension. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of ascension.

The crowd was impressed by the ascension and rise of the hot-air balloon to its highest elevation at the festival in New Mexico.

It was a difficult ascension to the top of the mountain for the couple’s sunrise hike, but once they reached the top, none of that mattered. They looked out over the beautiful view and drank their coffee.

While the family was excited to visit the Eiffel Tower, the ascension to the top was painful on their feet from weeks of travel on foot. The view from the top was certainly worth it, but they went and crashed in their hotel room after the excursion.

Overall, the word ascension means the act of going in an upward direction or upward movement. It can also refer to Christ’s ascension or the rising of the body of Jesus on the fortieth day after the Resurrection. It can also refer to a 34 sq miles (Pop. 1400) island in the south Atlantic claimed by Britain. This word comes from the Middle English ascensioun, from Old French ascention, Latin ascēnsiō, ascēnsiōn and ascēnsus, from the past participle of ascendere. 


  1. ascension | Origin and meaning of ascension | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. Ascension | Meaning, Origin, Translation | Word Sense
  3. ASCENSION Synonyms: 13 Synonyms & Antonyms for ASCENSION | Thesaurus 
  4. DESCENT Synonyms: 107 Synonyms & Antonyms for DESCENT | Thesaurus 
  5. Ascension | Definition of Ascension | Merriam-Webster
  6. ascension – definition and meaning | Wordnik
  7. Ascension | Description, Significance, Feast, & Art | Britannica