Make Your Editor Cry: Ascent vs. Assent

Make Your Editor Cry:  Ascent vs. Assent

Assent refers to agreement, while an ascent is a climb.

An ascent is most often a physical climb up something, like your ascent up a rock wall at the gym. This word can also be used with reference to something less tangible, like an ascent up the corporate ladder. If you are moving in an upward direction, that’s an ascent, like your quick ascent from new group member last year to president this year.

Assent means agreement. If you nod your head in assent, you agree to something or you assent to it. Assent is a rather formal way to say “agree.” If your parents assent to having your best friend stay for the weekend, go ahead and get the extra bed ready. It is the opposite of dissent. As a noun, assent refers to an agreement.

Correct:

Before we make our way to the top of Mount Everest, we need to make sure our guide assents to our ascent.

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