an·​ces·​try ˈan-ˌse-strē How to pronounce ancestry (audio)
: line of descent : lineage
especially : honorable, noble, or aristocratic descent
: 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 George Bolen, a man of mixed ancestry who enlisted in 1864 and spent time guarding Confederate prisoners, died in 1899. Kellie B. Gormly, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2024 He was born in Sweden of Georgian ancestry while his parents were born in Turkey. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Feb. 2024 The Scottish wildcat population has become a hybrid swarm, with the proportion of domestic cat ancestry ranging between 11% and 74% in all modern wildcat samples. Scott Travers, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 It is derived from several sources, including the Bible and literary texts, and describes the Robber’s invincible ancestry and terrifying exploits. Melissa Noel, Essence, 13 Feb. 2024 As one of our closest kin in the animal world, chimpanzees, with their striking similarities and intriguing differences to humans, offer a glimpse into our own ancestry. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 30 Jan. 2024 Harris, who is of Indian and Jamaican descent, is the first woman to become vice president and the third non-white person as either president or vice president, following Obama and Charles Curtis, Herbert Hoover's vice president who had Native American ancestry. Bill Barrow, USA TODAY, 20 Jan. 2024 This strength, a product of their lifestyle and survival needs, is a fascinating aspect of chimp biology, underscoring the differences that have evolved between humans and our closest animal relatives despite our shared ancestry. Jake Parks, Discover Magazine, 30 Jan. 2024 Recently, the museum looked into Manuel’s ancestry. Ismail Ibrahim, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ancestry.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near ancestry

Cite this Entry

“Ancestry.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


an·​ces·​try ˈan-ˌses-trē How to pronounce ancestry (audio)
: line of descent
: one's ancestors

More from Merriam-Webster on ancestry

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