an·​ces·​tress ˈan-ˌse-strəs How to pronounce ancestress (audio)
: a female ancestor

Examples of ancestress in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The intersection of these two facts does convince me that William's genealogical ancestress, Eliza Kewark, did have South Asian ancestry (not totally surprising even in notionally ethnically distinct groups like Armenians or Parsis who have been long resident in India). Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 14 June 2013 Instead of being a reticulated mesh the genealogy of mtDNA is a clean and inverted elegant tree leading back to a common ancestress. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2010 Meanwhile, Alice, Dana’s ancestress, never becomes much more than a moral quandary: a stubborn victim who is unable to adapt. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2021 Yang Asha is the mythical ancestress of the Miao people, an ethnic minority in China closely related to the Hmong of Southeast Asia. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, 26 Nov. 2020 His own mother, aged ninety, who remembered her aunt, had been able to share stories of their ancestress with the grandchildren who’d had no idea, before now, what their background might be. Susan Choi, Harper's magazine, 6 Jan. 2020 Enshrined at Kashikodokoro is the sun goddess Amaterasu, the mythological ancestress of Japan’s emperors. Washington Post, 22 Oct. 2019 Enshrined at Kashikodokoro is the sun goddess Amaterasu, the mythological ancestress of Japan's emperors. NBC News, 22 Oct. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ancestress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1580, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ancestress was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near ancestress

Cite this Entry

“Ancestress.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


an·​ces·​tress ˈan-ˌses-trəs How to pronounce ancestress (audio)
: a female ancestor

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