Simple Definition of forebear
: a member of your family in the past
Examples of forebear in a sentence
His forebears fought in the American Civil War.
<his forebears came to America on the Mayflower>
Did You Know?
Forebear (also sometimes spelled "forbear") was first used by our ancestors in the days of Middle English. Fore- means "coming before," just as in "forefather," and -bear means "one that is" (not to be confused with the "-bear" in the unrelated verb "forbear," which comes from Old English beran, meaning "to bear or carry"). The "be-" of "-bear" is from the verb "to be" (or, more specifically, from "been," an old dialect variant of "be"). The "-ar" is a form of the suffix -er, which we append to verbs to denote one that performs a specified action. In this case the "action" is simply existing or being - in other words, "-bear" implies one who is a "be-er."
Variants of forebear
Origin and Etymology of forebear
Middle English (Scots), from fore- + -bear (from been to be)
First Known Use: 15th century
FOREBEAR Defined for Kids
Definition of forebear for Students
: ancestor 1
Seen and Heard
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