1. One whose descent can be traced to a particular individual or group: a descendant of Queen Victoria; descendants of a prize-winning horse.
2. Something derived from a prototype or earlier form: Today's bicycles are descendants of the earlier velocipede.
3. In astrology, the point of the ecliptic or the sign of the zodiac that sets in the west at the time of a person's birth or other event.
Variant of descendent.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.