Dictionary: AS-BES'TIN-ITE – AS-CET'IC

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AS-BES'TIN-ITE, n. [See Asbestus.]

The actinolite or strahlstein. – Kirwan. Calciferous asbestinite; a variety of steatite. – Kirwan.

AS-BES'TUS, or AS-BES'TOS, n. [Gr. ασβεστος, inextinguishable; of α neg. and σβυννυμι, to extinguish.]

A mineral which has frequently the appearance of a vegetable substance. It is always fibrous, and its fibers sometimes appear to be prismatic crystals. They are sometimes delicate, flexible, and elastic; at other times, stiff and brittle. Its powder is soft to the touch; its colors are some shade of white, gray or green, passing into brown, red or black. It is incombustible, and has been wrought into a soft, flexible cloth, which was formerly used as a shroud for dead bodies. It has been also manufactured into incombustible paper, and wicks for lamps. – Kirwan. Encyc. Cleaveland. Ligniform asbestus is a variety of a brown color, of a splintery fracture, and if broken across, presents an irregular filamentous structure, like wood. – Kirwan.

AS'BO-LIN, n. [Gr. ασβολη.]

An oil-like matter, acrid and bitter, obtained from soot.

AS'CA-RIS, n. [plur. Ascar'ides. Gr.]

In zoology, a genus of intestinal worms. The body is cylindrical, and tapering at the ends.

AS-CEND', v.i. [L. ascendo, from scando, to mount or climb; W. esgyn, to rise; cyn, first, chief. It has the same elements as begin.]

  1. To move upwards; to mount; to go up; to rise, whether in air or water, or upon a material object.
  2. To rise, in a figurative sense; to proceed from an inferior to a superior degree, from mean to noble objects, from particulars to generals, &c.
  3. To proceed from modern to ancient times; to recur to former ages; as, our inquiries ascend to the remotest antiquity.
  4. In a corresponding sense, to proceed in a line towards ancestors; as, to ascend to our first progenitors.
  5. To rise as a star; to proceed or come above the horizon.
  6. In music, to rise in vocal utterance; to pass from any note to one more acute.

AS-CEND', v.t.

To go or move upwards upon, as to ascend a hill or ladder; or to climb, as to ascend a tree.


That may be ascended.


  1. Superior; predominant; surpassing.
  2. In astrology, above the horizon.


  1. Superiority or commanding influence; as, one man has the ascendant over another.
  2. An ancestor, or one who precedes in genealogy, or degrees of kindred; opposed to descendant.
  3. Highth; elevation. [Little used.] – Temple.
  4. In astrology, that degree of the ecliptic which rises above the horizon at the time of one's birth. That part of the ecliptic at any particular time above the horizon, supposed to have influence on a person's life and fortune. – Johnson. Encyc.

AS-CEND'ED, pp. [or a.]

Risen; mounted up; gone to heaven.


Power; governing or controlling influence. Custom has an ascendency over the understanding. – Watts.


Rising; moving upwards; proceeding from the less to the greater; proceeding from modern to ancient, from grave to more acute. A star is said to be ascending, when rising above the horizon, in any parallel of the equator. Ascending latitude is the latitude of a planet, when moving toward the north pole. Ascending node is that point of a planet's orbit, wherein it passes the ecliptic to proceed northward. It is also called the northern node. Ascending vessels, in anatomy, are those which carry the blood upward or toward the superior parts of the body.

AS-CEN'SION, n. [L. ascensio.]

  1. The act of ascending; a rising. It is frequently applied to the visible elevation of our Savior to Heaven.
  2. The thing rising, or ascending. [Not authorized.]
  3. In astronomy, ascension is either right or oblique. Right ascension of the sun or of a star, is that degree of the equinoctial, counted from the beginning of Aries, which rises with the sun or star, in a right sphere. Oblique ascension is an arch of the equator, intercepted between the first point of Aries, and that point of the equator which rises together with a star, in an oblique sphere. – Johnson.


A festival of some Christian churches, held ten days or on the Thursday but one, before Whitsuntide, which is called Holy Thursday, in commemoration of our Savior's ascension into heaven, after his resurrection. Ascensional difference is the difference between the right and oblique ascension of the same point on the surface of the sphere. – Chambers.


Rising; tending to rise, or causing to rise. – Journ. of Science.

AS-CENT', n. [L. ascensus.]

  1. The act of rising; motion upwards, whether in air, water or other fluid, or on elevated objects; rise; a mounting upward; as, the ascent of vapors from the earth.
  2. The way by which one ascends; the means of ascending. – Bacon.
  3. An eminence, hill or high place. – Addison.
  4. The degree of elevation of an object, or the angle it makes with a horizontal line; as, a road has an ascent of five degrees.
  5. Acclivity; the rise of a hill; as a steep ascent.

AS-CER-TAIN, v.t. [from the L. ad certum, to a certainty.]

  1. To make certain; to define or reduce to precision, by removing obscurity or ambiguity. The divine law ascertains the truth. – Hooker.
  2. To make certain, by trial, examination or experiment, so as to know what was before unknown; as, to ascertain the weight of a commodity, or the purity of a metal.
  3. To make sure by previous measures. The ministry, in order to ascertain a majority in the House of Lords, persuaded the Queen to create twelve new peers. – Smollett.
  4. To make certain or confident, followed by pronoun; as, to ascertain us of the goodness of our work. [Unusual.] – Dryden.
  5. To fix; to establish with certainty; to render invariable, and not subject to will. The mildness and precision of their laws ascertained the rule and measure of taxation. – Gibbon.


That may be made certain in fact, or certain to the mind; that may be certainly known or reduced to a certainty. – Kerr's Lavoisier.


Made certain; defined; established; reduced to a certainty.


The person who ascertains or makes certain.


Making certain; fixing; establishing; reducing to a certainty; obtaining certain knowledge.


The act of ascertaining; a reducing to certainty; certainty; fixed rule. – Swift. Burke.



AS-CET'IC, a. [Gr. ασκητος, exercised, hardened; from ασκεω, to exercise.]

Retired from the world; rigid; severe; austere; employed in devotions and mortifications.


  1. One who retires from the customary business of life, and devotes himself to the duties of piety and devotion; a hermit; a recluse.
  2. The title of certain books on devout exercises; as the Ascetics of St. Basil.