forebear was our Word of the Day on 06/17/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of forebear in a sentence
His forebears fought in the American Civil War.
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."
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
Definition of forebear for English Language Learners
: a member of your family in the past
FOREBEAR Defined for Kids
Definition of forebear for Students
: ancestor 1
Seen and Heard
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