Definition of ancestor
1a : one from whom a person is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandparent <Her ancestors came to America in the 1880s.>b : forefather 2
3 : a progenitor (see progenitor 1b) of a more recent or existing species or group <the ancestor of the modern horse>
Examples of ancestor in a sentence
My ancestors came to America during the 1800s.
Her ancestors were great sea captains.
an ancient animal that was the ancestor of the modern horse
The museum included an exhibit showing ancestors of the modern computer.
several languages that are derived from a common ancestor
Latin is the ancestor of Italian and French.
Origin and Etymology of ancestor
Middle English ancestre, from Anglo-French, from Latin antecessor predecessor, from antecedere to go before, from ante- + cedere to go
First Known Use: 13th century
ANCESTOR Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ancestor for English Language Learners
: a person who was in someone's family in past times : one of the people from whom a person is descended
: an animal in the past from which a modern animal developed
: something in the past from which something else has developed
ANCESTOR Defined for Kids
Definition of ancestor for Students
1 : a person from whom someone is descended
2 : something from which something else develops
Seen and Heard
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