an·​ces·​tral | \ an-ˈses-trəl How to pronounce ancestral (audio) \

Definition of ancestral

: of, relating to, or inherited from an ancestor ancestral estates

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Other Words from ancestral

ancestrally \ -​trə-​lē How to pronounce ancestrally (audio) \ adverb

Examples of ancestral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

By incorporating natural oils and honoring ancestral traditions, Swenson’s beauty ritual seamlessly interweaves the contemporary with the ancient. Dianca London Potts, SELF, "8 Modern Witches Share Their Daily Beauty Rituals," 11 Apr. 2019 During the father's visit, militants stormed the western side of the family’s ancestral village of Tabiyet. Raja Abdulrahim, WSJ, "‘If He’s Hiding, I Will Find Him.’ One Man’s Hunt for the Militants Who Killed His Father," 15 Dec. 2018 The Michigan primary victory of Rashida Tlaib, who is expected to become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian-American to serve in the U.S. Congress, triggered an outpouring of joy in her ancestral village on Wednesday. Mohammed Daraghmeh, Fox News, "Palestinian-American candidate is source of West Bank pride," 8 Aug. 2018 In 2016, Madikizela-Mandela began legal efforts to secure the ownership of Mandela's home in his ancestral village of Qunu. Author: Alan Cowell, Anchorage Daily News, "Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who fought apartheid with her husband, has died at 81," 2 Apr. 2018 Although the ancestral home seen in the movie is beautifully designed and fully furnished, its real-life counterpart is, well, not so much. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "The Real-Life Inspo For the Home in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is Worth Billions," 26 Feb. 2019 Our Constitution attempted to end the determination of a person’s value by his or her parentage or ancestral land of origin. WSJ, "How Identity Politics Admissions Hurts Most College Students," 14 Feb. 2019 Both the Queen and Prince Charles possess large semiprivate ancestral landholdings that serve as wellsprings of their wealth. David Mcclure, Town & Country, "How Queen Elizabeth's Fortune Is Divided Among the Members of the Royal Family," 16 Feb. 2019 Wolves that could not tolerate the presence of humans didn’t become part of the ancestral dog gene pool. John Hawks, WSJ, "‘The Goodness Paradox’ Review: The Benefits of Good Breeding," 25 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ancestral.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ancestral

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

9 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ancestral

The first known use of ancestral was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for ancestral


an·​ces·​tral | \ an-ˈse-strəl How to pronounce ancestral (audio) \

Kids Definition of ancestral

: of, relating to, or coming from an ancestor They visited their ancestral home.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ancestral

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ancestral

Spanish Central: Translation of ancestral

Nglish: Translation of ancestral for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ancestral for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ancestral

What made you want to look up ancestral? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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