1 [uncountable and countable] formal
the process of going down [≠ ascent]:
Passengers must fasten their seat belts prior to descent.
The descent to Base Camp took about two days.
your family origins, especially your nationality or relationship to someone important who lived a long time ago
of Russian/Italian etc descent
young men and women of Asian descent
They're Irish by descent.
a path or road that goes down a slope [≠ ascent]
There is no direct descent from the summit.
a gradual change towards behaviour or a situation that is very bad
descent into alcoholism/chaos/madness etc
his descent into drug abuse
5 [singular] British English
a sudden unwanted visit or attack:
the descent on the town by a motorcycle gang