Assent - ascent - ascend
Assent, ascent and ascend are sometimes confused - mostly, one may suspect, because most English speakers pronounce ascent and assent in exactly the same way, except when speaking carefully. (See also the antonymic trio dissent - descent - descend.)
- 'To ascend' is a verb meaning 'to climb', 'to go up'. It is pronounced 'e-SEND', IPA: /ə (or æ) ˈsɛnd/. The past tense form is ascended.
- The similar noun is ascent ('a SENT', IPA: /ə (or æ) ˈsɛnt/; it sounds exactly the same as the noun assent.) This means 'a climb' (as in "the ascent of Mount Everest"), or more generally 'climbing' or 'rise' in its figurative sense, as in "After she was noticed by the Queen, her ascent was rapid" and "His ascent in his profession was long and slow".