noun pro·gen·i·tor \prō-ˈje-nə-tər, prə-\

: someone who first thinks of or does something : a person who begins something

: something that is a model for something else : something that begins the development of something else

biology : a person or animal in the past that is related to a person or animal living now

Full Definition of PROGENITOR

a :  an ancestor in the direct line :  forefather
b :  a biologically ancestral form
:  precursor, originator <progenitors of socialist ideas — Times Literary Supplement> <progenitor cells>

Examples of PROGENITOR

  1. the progenitors of modern art
  2. wild cats that were the progenitors of the house cat


Middle English, from Anglo-French progenitour, from Latin progenitor, from progignere to beget, from pro- forth + gignere to beget — more at kin
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Biology Terms

autochthonous, fecund, homunculus, phylogeny, substrate


noun pro·gen·i·tor \prō-ˈjen-ət-ər, prə-\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PROGENITOR

:  an ancestor of an individual in a direct line of descent along which some or all of the ancestral genes could theoretically have passed
:  a biologically ancestral form


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