Etymology
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ascendancy (n.)
"dominant power or influence, state of being in the ascendant," 1712; see ascendant + -cy.
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ascendance (n.)
1742, from ascend + -ance. According to OED, properly "the act of ascending," but used from the start in English as a synonym of ascendancy.
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dominance (n.)

"rule, control; authority; ascendancy," 1819; see dominant + -ance. Perhaps from French dominance (by 1743). Related: Dominancy.

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mastery (n.)

c. 1200, mesterie, maistrie, "state or condition of being a master, control, dominance," also "superiority, ascendancy, the upper hand, victory in war or a contest;" from Old French maistrie (Modern French maîtrise), from maistre "master" (see master (n.)). Meaning "intellectual command" (of a topic, art, etc.), "expert skill" is from c. 1300.

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lubricity (n.)

late 15c., "lasciviousness," from French lubricité or directly from Medieval Latin lubricitatem (nominative lubricitas) "slipperiness," from Latin lubricus "slippery; easily moved, sliding, gliding;" figuratively "uncertain, hazardous, dangerous; seductive" (from suffixed form of PIE root *sleubh- "to slip, slide"). Sense of "oiliness, smoothness" in English is from 1540s; figurative sense of "shiftiness" is from 1610s.

The priests had excellent cause to forbid us lechery: this injunction, by reserving to them acquaintance with and absolution for these private sins, gave them an incredible ascendancy over women, and opened up to them a career of lubricity whose scope knew no limits. [Marquis de Sade, "Philosophy in the Bedroom"]
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Puritan (n.)

1560s, in reference to a class of Protestants that arose in 16th century England, originally generally, "opponent of Anglican hierarchy," later applied opprobriously to "person in the Church of England who seeks further reformation" (1570s), and thus to a member of any faith or sect or party that advocates purity of doctrine or practice (used of Muslims from 1610s). Probably formed from purity. As an adjective from 1580s.

What [William] Perkins, and the whole Puritan movement after him, sought was to replace the personal pride of birth and status with the professional's or craftsman's pride of doing one's best in one's particular calling. The good Christian society needs the best of kings, magistrates, and citizens. Perkins most emphasized the work ethic from Genesis: "In the swaete of thy browe shalt thou eate thy breade." [E. Digby Baltzell, "Puritan Boston and Quaker Philadelphia," 1979]

In its original sense, the word was largely historical from 19c.; the extended use in reference to anyone deemed overly strict in matters of religion and morals is from 1590s. The original Puritans developed into a political party in the reign of Charles I and gradually gained the ascendancy but lost it on Cromwell's death. During their early struggles many settled in Massachusetts.

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