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Moved downward from a hight; proceeded from a source, as a son from a father.


  1. Descending; falling; sinking.
  2. Proceeding from an original or ancestor. – Pope.


The quality of being descendible, or capable of being transmitted from ancestors; as, the descendibility of an estate or of a crown. – Blackstone.


  1. That may be descended or passed down; as the hill is descendible.
  2. That may descend from an ancestor to an heir; as, a descendible estate.


Moving downward; proceeding from an ancestor.

DE-SCEN'SION, n. [L. descensio.]

  1. The act of going downward; descent; a falling or sinking; declension; degradation.
  2. In astronomy, right descension is an arch of the equinoctial, intercepted between the next equinoctial point and the intersection of the meridian, passing through the center of the object, at its setting, in a right sphere. – Encyc. Oblique descension, is an arch of the equinoctial, intercepted between the next equinoctial point and the horizon, passing through the center of the object, at its setting, in an oblique sphere. – Encyc. Oblique descension, is an arch or the equator which descends with the sun below the horizon of an oblique sphere. – Bailey. Descension of a sign, is an arch of the equator, which sets with such a sign or part of the zodiac, or any planet in it. – Bailey. Right descension of a sign, is an arch of the equator, which descends with the sign below the horizon of a right sphere; or the time the sign is setting in a right sphere. – Bailey.


Pertaining to descent.


Descending; tending downward; having power to descend. – Sherwood.


A chimical furnace.

DE-SCENT', n. [Fr. descente; L. descensus.]

  1. The act of descending; the act of passing from a higher to a lower place, by any form of motion, as by walking, riding, rolling, sliding, sinking or falling.
  2. Inclination downward; obliquity; slope; declivity; as, the descent of a hill, or a roof.
  3. Progress downward; as, the descent from higher to lower orders of beings. – Locke.
  4. Fall from a higher to a lower state or station. – Milton.
  5. A landing from ships; invasion of troops from the sea; as, to make a descent on Cuba.
  6. A passing from an ancestor to an heir; transmission by succession or inheritance; as, the descent of an estate or a title from the father to son. Descent is lineal, when it proceeds directly from the father to the son to the grandson; collateral, when it proceeds from a man to his brother, nephew, or other collateral representative.
  7. A proceeding from an original or progenitor. The Jews boast of their descent from Abraham. Hence,
  8. Birth; extraction; lineage as, a noble descent.
  9. A generation; a single degree in the scale of genealogy; distance from the common ancestor. No man is a thousand descents from Adam. – Hooker.
  10. Offspring; issue; descendants. The care of our descent perplexes most. – Milton.
  11. A rank in the scale of subordination. – Milton.
  12. Lowest place. – Shak.
  13. In music, a passing from a note or sound to one more grave or less acute.


That may be described; capable of description.

DE-SCRIBE', v.t. [L. describo; de and scribo, to write; Sp. describir; It. descrivere; Fr. decrire; Arm. discriva. See Scribe.]

  1. To delineate or mark the form or figure; as, to describer a circle by the compasses.
  2. To make or exhibit a figure by motion; as, a star describes a circle or an ellipsis in the heavens.
  3. To show or represent to others in words; to communicate the resemblance of a thing, by naming its nature, form, or properties. The poet describes the Trojan horse. The historian describes the battle of Pharsalia. The moralist describes the effects of corrupt manners. The geographer describes countries and cities.
  4. To represent by signs. A deaf and dumb man may describe a distant object. Our passions may be described by external motions.
  5. To draw a plan; to represent by lines and other marks on paper, or other material; as, to describe the surface of the earth by a map or chart.
  6. To define laxly. – Gray.


Represented in form by marks or figures; delineated; represented by words or signs.


One who describes by marks, words, or signs.


Representing the form or figure of, by lines or marks; communicating a view of, by words or signs, or by naming the nature and properties.

DE-SCRI'ED, pp. [See Descry.]

Espied; discovered; seen.

DE-SCRI'ER, n. [See Descry.]

One who espies or discovers; a discoverer; a detecter. – Crashaw.

DE-SCRIP'TION, n. [L. descriptio.]

  1. The act of delineating, or representing the figure of any thing by a plan, to be presented to the eye.
  2. The figure or appearance of any thing delineated, or represented by visible lines, marks, colors, &c.; as, the description of a country, or of Solomon's temple.
  3. The act of representing a thing by words or by signs, or the passage containing such representation; a representation of names, nature or properties, that gives to another a view of the thing. Homer abounds with beautiful and striking descriptions. Hence,
  4. A definition. All definitions must be less perfect descriptions of a material thing, than a visible figure or delineation.
  5. The qualities expressed in a representation; as, a man of this description. – Burke. Hence,
  6. The persons having the qualities expressed; a class of persons to whom a description is applicable, or who are in a similar condition. The secretary proceeds to examine, whether a difference ought to be permitted to remain between them and another description of public creditors. – Hamilton. Persons of different descriptions. – Scott.


Containing description; tending to describe; having the quality of representing; as, a descriptive figure; a descriptive narration; a story descriptive of the age.


By description.


State of being descriptive.

DE-SCRY', n.

Discovery; thing discovered. [Unusual.] – Shak.

DE-SCRY', v.t. [Norm. descrier or discriver, and discever, to discover.]

  1. To espy; to explore; to examine by observation. The house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. – Judges i.
  2. To detect; to find out; to discover any thing concealed.
  3. To see; to behold; to have a sight of from a distance; as, the seamen descried land.
  4. To give notice of something suddenly discovered. [Not in use.] – Hall.


Discovering; espying.

DES'E-CRATE, v.t. [L. desecro; de and sacro, to consecrate, from sacer, sacred.]

  1. To divert from a sacred purpose or appropriation; opposed to consecrate; as, to desecrate a donation to a church.
  2. To divest of a sacred character or office. The clergy can not suffer corporal punishment, without being previously desecrated. – Tooke's Russia.