fore·​fa·​ther | \ ˈfȯr-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce forefather (audio) \

Definition of forefather

2 : a person of an earlier period and common heritage

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Synonyms & Antonyms for forefather



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Examples of forefather in a Sentence

our forefathers bought this farm, and our family has worked it for three generations
Recent Examples on the Web Our forefathers died in battle to serve our country. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: We must be positive without being foolish during coronavirus pandemic," 25 Mar. 2020 Another reason for the BJP’s adoption of Ambedkar’s legacy is that Hindu nationalism’s own political forefathers have a dark history of idolizing European fascist leaders like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. Time, "As India’s Constitution Turns 70, Opposing Sides Fight to Claim Its Author as One of Their Own," 25 Jan. 2020 But for some reason, our forefathers, more than 200 years ago, carried over this tradition in creating the presidency, even though George Mason, considered the father of our Bill of Rights, objected vehemently. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: The presidential pardon may have run its course," 23 Feb. 2020 The forefather's monument had been cleaned along with the four scallop shells, town officials said in a Facebook post. Fox News, "Plymouth Rock vandalized with graffiti shortly before 400th anniversary celebration," 18 Feb. 2020 The forefathers of Phocus are looking for an across-the-board consumer wake up call spanningdifferent generations, from millennials to boomers. Caleb Wiegandt, The Courier-Journal, "Caffeinated sparkling water? Yes, it exists. And it was invented right here in Louisville," 2 Mar. 2020 In 1947, the forefathers of neoliberalism launched their world-conquering project at the Hôtel Du Parc on Mont Pèlerin in the Swiss Alps. Aaron Timms, The New Republic, "Privacy Policy," 27 Jan. 2020 Like Cory Schlesinger, his forefather at fullback from a generation ago, Bawden has a penchant for pulverizing face masks, which helps illustrate his willingness to do anything on the field. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions teammates call Nick Bawden a 'maniac.' Here's the evidence," 1 Nov. 2019 The Gettys of today are no less active, creative, or philanthropic than their forefathers. James Reginato, Town & Country, "Outrageous Fortune: Nats, August, and Gigi Gorgeous Getty Are Not Your Typical Old-Money Scions," 14 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forefather.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of forefather

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forefather.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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English Language Learners Definition of forefather

: a person (especially a man) who was in your family in past times
: a person (especially a man) from an earlier time who helped to create or start something modern or important


fore·​fa·​ther | \ ˈfȯr-ˌfä-t͟hər How to pronounce forefather (audio) \

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