Definition of ancestor
- Her ancestors came to America in the 1880s.
- the ancestor of the modern horse
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.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ancestor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
: 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
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