an·​ces·​tral | \ an-ˈses-trəl \

Definition of ancestral

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

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Other Words from ancestral

ancestrally \ -​trə-​lē \ adverb

Examples of ancestral in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Village compounds line the roads, their high stone walls enclosing ancestral temples (typically at least three generations live together). Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 During summer vacations when Toby and his cousins were growing up, they were all shipped off to Ivy House — the ancestral mansion in Dublin that’s long been Hugo’s home — for extended visits. Maureen Corrigan, The Seattle Times, "Fans of Tana French are in for a surprise with ‘The Witch Elm’," 23 Oct. 2018 Kwandibens’ work also reflects on ancestral ties to the land. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Unprecedented Billboard Campaign Puts Spotlight on Indigenous Artists in Canada," 13 July 2018 It’s hard to imagine anyone but hardcore Potterheads getting emotionally involved in this film’s convoluted plotting and ancestral reveals. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Even for the Harry Potter hardcore, Crimes of Grindelwald is one convoluted movie," 8 Nov. 2018 The patterns of these correlations differ from one ancestral group to the next and are part of the reason why the predictive power of GWAS diminishes from one group to the next. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Genetics has learned a ton — mostly about white people. That’s a problem.," 27 Oct. 2018 Israel is the ancestral and legal homeland of the Jewish people. Daniel J. Arbess, WSJ, "Advice for a Palestinian ‘Icon’," 14 Aug. 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

17 Jan 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 \

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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