condescend vs descend what difference

what is difference between condescend and descend

English

Etymology

From Middle English condescenden, from Old French condescendre, from Late Latin condēscendere (to let one’s self down, stoop, condescend), from Latin con- (together) + dēscendere, present active infinitive of dēscendō (I come down); see descend.

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌkɒndɪˈsɛnd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌkɑːndɪˈsɛnd/

Verb

condescend (third-person singular simple present condescends, present participle condescending, simple past and past participle condescended)

  1. (intransitive) To come down from one’s superior position; to deign (to do something).
    • 1665, John Dryden, The Indian Emperour, act 1, scene 2:
      Spain’s mighty monarch [] / In gracious clemency, does condescend / On these conditions, to become your friend.
  2. (intransitive) To treat (someone) as though inferior; to be patronizing (toward someone); to talk down (to someone).
    • 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 14:
      I admire that admiration which the genteel world sometimes extends to the commonalty. There is no more agreeable object in life than to see Mayfair folks condescending.
    • At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
  3. (transitive, rare, possibly nonstandard) To treat (someone) as though inferior; to be patronizing toward (someone); to talk down to (someone).
    • ANDIE. I wasn’t condescending you; I was just asking.
      THOMAS. No. You said “angry black man.” Like my anger only exists in a stereotype. That’s condescending.
  4. (intransitive, obsolete) To consent, agree.
    • 1671, John Milton, Samson Agonistes, lines 1134-36:
      Can they think me so broken, so debased / With corporal servitude, that my mind ever / Will condescend to such absurd commands?
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To come down.

Usage notes

  • “Condescend” is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs
  • In sense “to talk down”, the derived participial adjective condescending (and corresponding adverb condescendingly) are more common than the verb itself.
  • In older usage, “condescend” could be used non-pejoratively (in a sense similar to that of treating someone as inferior) to describe the action of those who socialized in a friendly way with their social inferiors. Now that the concept of social inferiors has largely fallen out of currency, so has this non-pejorative sense. Thus, in w:Pride_and_Prejudice, a character could say of another, “I need not say you will be delighted with her. She is all affability and condescension.”

Synonyms

  • (come down from superior position): acquiesce, deign, stoop, vouchsafe
  • (talk down, treat as inferior): patronize, belittle, put on airs
  • (consent): yield
  • (come down): descend

Related terms

  • condescendence
  • condescend upon
  • condescension
  • descend

Translations

Further reading

  • condescend in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • condescend in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.


English

Etymology

From Middle English decenden, borrowed from Old French descendre, from Latin descendere, past participle descensus (to come down, go down, fall, sink), from de- (down) + scandere (to climb). See scan, scandent. Compare ascend, condescend, transcend.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /dɪˈsɛnd/
  • Hyphenation (US): de‧scend; (UK): des‧cend
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd

Verb

descend (third-person singular simple present descends, present participle descending, simple past and past participle descended)

  1. (intransitive) To pass from a higher to a lower place; to move downwards; to come or go down in any way, for example by falling, flowing, walking, climbing etc.
    • 2002, John Griesemer, No One Thinks of Greenland: A Novel
      Rudy felt a gust of fear rise in his chest, and he looked again in the mirror, but the hangar and stable were now beyond the rise, out of sight, he was descending so fast.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, The History of the University of Cambridge: From the Conquest to the Year 1634
    We will here descend to matters of later date.
    • 1611, King James Version, Matthew vii. 25.
    The rain descended, and the floods came.
  2. (intransitive, poetic) To enter mentally; to retire.
    • [He] with holiest meditations fed, Into himself descended.
  3. (intransitive, with on or upon) To make an attack, or incursion, as if from a vantage ground; to come suddenly and with violence.
    • 2013, Deltrice Alfred Grossmith, Arctic Warriors: A Personal Account of Convoy PQ18
      more aircraft descending on us than had done during previous visits from the snoopers in their usual ones and twos.
    • 1726, Alexander Pope, Odyssey
    And on the suitors let thy wrath descend.
  4. (intransitive) To come down to a lower, less fortunate, humbler, less virtuous, or worse, state or rank; to lower or abase oneself
    • August 25, 1759, Samuel Johnson, The Idler No. 71
      He [] began to descend to familiar questions, endeavouring to accommodate his discourse to the grossness of rustic understandings.
  5. (intransitive) To pass from the more general or important to the specific or less important matters to be considered.
  6. (intransitive) To come down, as from a source, original, or stock
  7. to be derived (from)
  8. to proceed by generation or by transmission; to happen by inheritance.
  9. (intransitive, astronomy) To move toward the south, or to the southward.
  10. (intransitive, music) To fall in pitch; to pass from a higher to a lower tone.
  11. (transitive) To go down upon or along; to pass from a higher to a lower part of

Synonyms

  • go down

Antonyms

  • ascend
  • go up

Derived terms

  • descender

Related terms

  • descent

Translations

Anagrams

  • scended

French

Pronunciation

Verb

descend

  1. third-person singular present indicative of descendre

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