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Legal Dictionary

descendant

Legal Definition of descendant

Noun

  1. Those person who are born of, or from children of, another are called that person's descendants. Grandchildren are descendants of their grandfather as children are descendants of their natural parents. The law also distinguishes between collateral descendants and lineal descendants.

Definition of descendant

Alternative forms

Etymology

    Middle English dessendaunte, from Middle French, from Latin dēscendēns, present participle of descendere, itself from + scandere ("climb, ascend").

Pronunciation

Adjective

descendant (comparative more descendant, superlative most descendant)

  1. descending from a biological ancestor
  2. proceeding from a figurative ancestor or source

Antonyms

  • ascendant, ascendent, ascending

Noun

descendant (plural descendants)

  1. (literally) One who is the progeny of someone at any distance of time

    The patriarch survived many descendants: five children, a dozen grandchildren, even a great grandchild.

  2. (figuratively) One which derives directly from a given precursor or source

    This famous medieval manuscript has many descendants

  3. (biology) A later evolutionary type

    Dogs evolved as descendants of early wolves.

Antonyms

  • ascendant
  • ancestor

Derived terms

  • direct descendant
  • indirect descendant

See also

  • offspring
  • offshoot
  • progeny

References:

  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.



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