ancestry

noun
an·​ces·​try | \ ˈan-ˌses-trē \

Definition of ancestry

1 : line of descent : lineage especially : honorable, noble, or aristocratic descent
2 : persons initiating or comprising a line of descent : ancestors

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Examples of ancestry in a Sentence

They claim to be of noble ancestry. a person of unknown ancestry She claims to be able to trace her ancestry all the way back to the earliest settlers.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren reportedly take part in their gift exchange on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day, in a nod to their German ancestry. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "What Meghan Markle Can Expect From the Annual Royal Family Gift Exchange," 15 Dec. 2018 At the same time, cultural awareness among those who could trace their ancestry to the first Hawaiians increased, as did our knowledge of their political and religious practices. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Hawaiian Supreme Court gives go-ahead to giant telescope," 1 Nov. 2018 Genetic data can be collected for medical purposes, like genetic testing for hereditary diseases, by the government for identification purposes, or submitted to private companies that promise to tell you more about yourself and your ancestry. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Treating ‘genetic privacy’ like it’s just one thing keeps us from understanding people’s concerns," 31 Oct. 2018 Half of the French and Belgian squads' players trace their ancestry to Africa, a much higher percentage than the ratio of immigrants in either country. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "The World Cup is a victory for the immigrant dream," 12 July 2018 The team’s findings have enabled them to assemble a DNA portrait of Southeast Asia’s ancient humans, suggesting that contemporary Southeast Asians can trace their ancestry to at least four ancient populations. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Ancient DNA Offers Insight on Origins of Southeast Asia’s Present-Day Population," 11 July 2018 Both organizations are made up of Americans who can trace their ancestry back to patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War. Jeremy C. Fox, BostonGlobe.com, "From Ohio, a family that loves Boston’s Fourth of July as much as any local," 4 July 2018 Zimmer does a deep dive into the question of heredity, exploring everything from how genetic ancestry works to the thorny question of how race is defined, biologically. New York Times, "9 New Books We Recommend This Week," 21 June 2018 After their goals in the Serbia game, Xhaka and Shaqiri, who are of Albanian ancestry, made double eagle gestures, an allusion to the Albanian flag. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Switzerland Does Enough to Advance in World Cup," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ancestry.' 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 ancestry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ancestry

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for ancestry

The first known use of ancestry was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for ancestry

ancestry

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ancestry

: a person's ancestors : the people who were in your family in past times

ancestry

noun
an·​ces·​try | \ ˈan-ˌse-strē \
plural ancestries

Kids Definition of ancestry

: a person's ancestors

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Comments on ancestry

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