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

Seeing the ancestral objects, and learning about their spiritual significance, inspired her to make them. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "After the Russians came to the Alutiiq region, the dance rattles went silent. A Kodiak artist has changed that.," 30 June 2019 Wisconsin Madison: The University of Wisconsin-Madison is setting up a new marker recognizing the campus as the ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk tribe. USA TODAY, "Whiskey webs, alien abductions, goldfish invasion: News from around our 50 states," 25 June 2019 My ancestral tree has its roots in West Africa, where the indigenous cuisine’s pairing of savory items with sweet is as ancient as the continent itself. Shauna Stuart |,, "How to make a world class chef’s grilled peach toast with pimiento cheese," 21 June 2019 MPs from both Labour and the Conservatives abandoned their ancestral parties and focused on attracting more MPs to their cause. The Economist, "The centre cannot hold - the failure of Change UK and the atrophying of political thought," 19 June 2019 With the help of another artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a magic that can infuse ancestral spirits into paintings, music and stories. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "15+ Young Adult Audiobooks For When You Want To Give Music a Break," 18 June 2019 In Columbia, the ancestral hairdo, with its intricate patterns, doubled as maps for slaves’ escape routes. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Watch ‘Primp’: 4 Ways To Style Your Braids For Festival Season," 5 June 2019 All My Relations Arts, less than a block away, is a gallery focused on contemporary American Indian artists and the ancestral connections that inspire and influence them. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside the First Major Museum Exhibition Celebrating Native Women Artists," 31 May 2019 Somehow, over an unknown number of millennia, FECA turned into the last eukaryotic common ancestor, or LECA — an organism ancestral to every other subsequent eukaryote living or extinct, including ones currently unknown to science. Quanta Magazine, "Researchers Rethink the Ancestry of Complex Cells," 9 Apr. 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

4 Jul 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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