ancestor

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noun an·ces·tor \ˈan-ˌses-tər also -səs-\

Definition of ancestor

  1. 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

  2. 2 :  forerunner, prototype an exhibit of the ancestors of the modern computer

  3. 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

  1. My ancestors came to America during the 1800s.

  2. Her ancestors were great sea captains.

  3. an ancient animal that was the ancestor of the modern horse

  4. The museum included an exhibit showing ancestors of the modern computer.

  5. several languages that are derived from a common ancestor

  6. Latin is the ancestor of Italian and French.

Recent Examples of ancestor from the Web

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.

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


ANCESTOR Defined for English Language Learners

ancestor

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noun

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

ancestor

play
noun an·ces·tor \ˈan-ˌse-stər\

Definition of ancestor for Students

  1. 1 :  a person from whom someone is descended

  2. 2 :  something from which something else develops


Law Dictionary

ancestor

noun an·ces·tor

Legal Definition of ancestor

  1. 1a :  a person from whom an individual is descended :  ascendant b :  a person from whom an estate descends — compare heir

  2. 2 :  one that precedes ancestor in title



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