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

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 Come on—the Heart-Shaped herb elixir is purple drank.) T’Challa's and Killmonger’s experiences in the ancestral plane are two sides of a coin of blackness. Alisha Acquaye, GQ, "How Janelle Monáe (and Black Panther) Travel Through Time and Space," 2 May 2018 Immigrants and children of immigrants were thus encouraged to loosen, if not sever, ties to their ancestral homelands in the interest of promoting a supposedly more unified United States. John Check, WSJ, "‘Making Music American’ Review: Turning Swords Into Saxophones," 28 Dec. 2018 Churchill, elected to Parliament as a Tory and from an ancestral Tory family, crossed the aisle early in his career and joined the Liberals. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Churchill’s Adversaries Weren’t His Enemies," 20 Dec. 2018 At its core, Sextantio strives to preserve ancient architecture and perpetuate ancestral customs while providing visitors with quiet and deeply restful luxury. Daria Di Lello, Vogue, "Finding Serenity—and Forest-Grown Truffles—in the Mountains of Abruzzo, Italy," 23 Nov. 2018

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

14 Mar 2019

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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

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