forebear was our Word of the Day on 06/17/2011. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of forebear in a Sentence
His forebears fought in the American Civil War.
his forebears came to America on the Mayflower
Recent Examples of forebear from the Web
Long ago, authentic prophetic traditions tell us, our forebears lived in a more egalitarian society in which women acted as religious leaders.
However, the judge ruled that the constitution does not negate the Freedmen’s treaty rights granted to their forebears at the end of the Civil War.
Women like Ann Leckie, N.K. Jemisin, Nisi Shawl, Kameron Hurley, Nnedi Okorafor, Aliette de Bodard, among others, are at the forefront of this transformation, and Le Guin was one of their forebears.
Rabbits and their rabbitlike forebears (forehares?) have been running away from forest fires for millions of years.
But like their Parthian forebears, Iran and its allies have the upper hand.
The pictures, by fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski, present the couple in a modern and intimate light -- a sign of the times and a far cry from the engagement shots of many of their forebears in the British royal family.
Are people in big, modern societies more or less violent than our forebears?
As a figment of a man’s imagination, the Mother’s most important forebear is Hari of Tarkovsky’s Solaris (1972), the dead wife who reappears to her husband in space.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forebear.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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."
Origin and Etymology of forebear
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonymsfather, ancestor (also forbear), forebearer, forefather, grandfather, primogenitor, progenitor
Antonymsdescendant (also descendent)
Related Wordsantecessor, predecessor [archaic]; ancestress, foremother, grandmother, matriarch; grandsire [archaic], patriarch, sire [archaic]; ancestry, antecedents, roots
Near Antonymschildren, family, issue, lineage, offspring, posterity, progeny, seed, stock; daughter, heir, inheritor, scion, son, successor
FOREBEAR Defined for English Language Learners
FOREBEAR Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up forebear? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).