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I have always learnt that ascendo means to go up and accendo means to ignite. Do they even originate from the same word and if so how have they come to be as they are?

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No, they're two different roots. Ascendere is made up of the prefix ad- + scandere (first: scando), which means "to climb."

On the other hand, accendere is related to candere (first: candeo), which means "to shine" or "to glow" (like a fire).

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  • 2
    Slight quibble: accendere isn't directly derived from candēre -- which would yield accendēre -- but is probably from the same Indo-European root (thus de Vaan, at least). – TKR Sep 25 '16 at 16:50
  • Good point. Edited for accuracy. – C. M. Weimer Sep 25 '16 at 16:53

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