an·​ces·​try | \ ˈan-ˌse-strē How to pronounce ancestry (audio) \

Definition of ancestry

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Palestinians proudly claim Jewish, Christian and Muslim ancestry. Doris Bittar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 July 2022 Parabon’s research traced the crime scene DNA sample’s ancestry to a specific region of Italy. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, 25 July 2022 The document, consisting of 388 articles, would create an unequal justice system and grant more rights for those who claim indigenous ancestry. Daniel Di Martino, National Review, 24 July 2022 Four years later, at 19, Mr. Kickingstone, whose mixed ancestry includes Indigenous American and Mexican roots, came out as a transgender man. New York Times, 22 July 2022 Furthermore, the analysis genetically linked the woman to the East Asian ancestry of Native Americans. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 16 July 2022 Phylogeny made a comeback in the seventies and eighties, after the German entomologist Willi Hennig developed more rigorous criteria for identifying common ancestry and drawing evolutionary trees. Ben Crair, The New Yorker, 15 July 2022 Harris, who is Latina, and Taber-Hamilton, who is of Shackan First Nation ancestry, will become the first people of color serving together as leaders of the House of Deputies. Jonathan M. Pitts, Baltimore Sun, 11 July 2022 Patrick Jackson’s ancestry was relatively easy; one of the genealogists, Chris Child, had already cowritten a book on much of it. Globe Staff,, 9 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of ancestry

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ancestry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ancestry


an·​ces·​try | \ ˈan-ˌse-strē How to pronounce ancestry (audio) \
plural ancestries

Kids Definition of ancestry

: a person's ancestors

More from Merriam-Webster on ancestry

Nglish: Translation of ancestry for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ancestry for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ancestry


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