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.
Recent Examples of ancestor from the Web
Their efforts are a radical statement, of an African-American family that refuses to capitulate and sell the land to its white competitors — men who once enslaved the siblings' ancestors on this very soil.
This subtle orientation can persist even among middle-class descendants of the working-class ancestors who instilled it.
The people who built this city lived there and their ancestors continue to live in that neighborhood.
In all the company paid $3.5 million to the Lummi tribal government, and another $750,000 divided in payments to the 1,236 tribal members whose ancestors were buried at Semiahmoo — 30 percent of the tribe.
Michael W. Twitty got tired of seeing wealthy white men become well-known for studying and replicating the food and culture of his ancestors.
Each soft step in this sanctuary is a reminder of the trials faced by the congregation’s ancestors, and of the Caribbean islands that were also sanctuaries of a sort, offering refuge to Jews in an unwelcoming world.
Remember, this is why your ancestors came here from those other oppressive, proper-grater-hole-size-demanding countries.
Other historic landowners included Mrs. Graham's ancestors, according to Seneschal.
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
First Known Use: 13th centurySee Words from the same year
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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