progenitor

noun pro·gen·i·tor \ prō-ˈje-nə-tər , prə- \
Updated on: 6 Dec 2017

Definition of progenitor

1 a : an ancestor in the direct line : forefather
b : a biologically ancestral form
2 : precursor, originator
  • progenitors of socialist ideas
  • The Times Literary Supplement (London)
  • progenitor cells

Examples of progenitor in a Sentence

  1. the progenitors of modern art

  2. wild cats that were the progenitors of the house cat

Recent Examples of progenitor from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of progenitor

Middle English, from Anglo-French progenitour, from Latin progenitor, from progignere to beget, from pro- forth + gignere to beget — more at kin


PROGENITOR Defined for English Language Learners

progenitor

noun

Definition of progenitor for English Language Learners

  • : someone who first thinks of or does something : a person who begins something

  • : something that is a model for something else : something that begins the development of something else

  • biology : a person or animal in the past that is related to a person or animal living now


Medical Dictionary

progenitor

noun pro·gen·i·tor \ prō-ˈjen-ət-ər, prə- \

medical Definition of progenitor

1 : an ancestor of an individual in a direct line of descent along which some or all of the ancestral genes could theoretically have passed
2 : a biologically ancestral form


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