forebear

noun fore·bear \-ˌber\

Examples of forebear in a sentence

  1. His forebears fought in the American Civil War.

  2. <his forebears came to America on the Mayflower>

Did You Know?

Forebear (also sometimes spelled "forbear") was first used by our ancestors in the days of Middle English. Fore- means "coming before," just as in "forefather," and -bear means "one that is" (not to be confused with the "-bear" in the unrelated verb "forbear," which comes from Old English beran, meaning "to bear or carry"). The "be-" of "-bear" is from the verb "to be" (or, more specifically, from "been," an old dialect variant of "be"). The "-ar" is a form of the suffix -er, which we append to verbs to denote one that performs a specified action. In this case the "action" is simply existing or being - in other words, "-bear" implies one who is a "be-er."

Variants of forebear

less commonly

\-ˌber\

Origin and Etymology of forebear

Middle English (Scots), from fore- + -bear (from been to be)


First Known Use: 15th century


FOREBEAR Defined for English Language Learners

forebear

noun fore·bear \-ˌber\

Definition of forebear for English Language Learners

  • : a member of your family in the past


FOREBEAR Defined for Kids

forebear

noun fore·bear \ˈfȯr-ˌber\

Definition of forebear for Students

  1. :  ancestor 1



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