Meaning of “descend” in the English Dictionary

"descend" in British English

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uk /dɪˈsend/ us /dɪˈsend/

descend verb (POSITION)

B2 [ I or T ] formal to go or come down:

The path descended steeply into the valley.
Jane descended the stairs.

[ I ] literary If darkness or night descends, it becomes dark and day changes to night.

More examples

  • She descended the sweeping staircase into the crowd of photographers and journalists.
  • A signpost points to a short path descending amongst trees to a footbridge over the river.
  • Ahead were clear signs of a path, descending into a valley.
  • The main staircase descended into a large, panelled entrance hall.
  • The audience applauded wildly as the curtain descended on the stage.

descend verb (NEGATIVE MOOD)

[ I ] literary If a negative or bad feeling descends, it is felt everywhere in a place or by everyone at the same time:

A feeling of despair descended (on us) as we realized that we were lost.

[ I ] literary If a condition, usually a negative condition, descends, it quickly develops in every part of a place:

Silence descended on the room/over the countryside.

(Definition of “descend” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"descend" in American English

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descendverb [ I/T ]

us /dɪˈsend/

to go down or come down something:

[ I ] The path descends to the valley below.
[ T ] Jane descended the stairs slowly in her wedding gown.

(Definition of “descend” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)