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[an-ses-tris or, esp. British, -suh-stris] /ˈæn sɛs trɪs or, esp. British, -sə strɪs/
a woman from whom a person is descended.
Origin of ancestress
First recorded in 1570-80; ancest(o)r + -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ancestress
Historical Examples
  • An ancestress of ours made a mesalliance in the reign of your King John.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Today no small host of Americans have for ancestress the daughter of Powhatan.

  • The girl read and re-read the description of this ancestress, then gasped.

    The Roof Tree Charles Neville Buck
  • His ancestress Asenath, the wife of Joseph, had been an Egyptian and he had boasted of the fact.

    Joshua, Complete Georg Ebers
  • The Quaker woman Elizabeth Hooton was an ancestress of mine.

    Mark Twain's Speeches Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • If the ancestress, or even Dorcas, or Chessun herself, would approve——'

    Armorel of Lyonesse Walter Besant
  • The moon herself was claimed as the ancestress of certain families.

  • Her ancestress had been baptized by the subject of the story.

  • Ova was my ancestress, and the knowledge of this mine is consequently a family secret for us.

    Stronghand Gustave Aimard
  • This "witch," by the way, was an ancestress of Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd.

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