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[an-ses-tree or, esp. British, -suh-stree] /ˈæn sɛs tri or, esp. British, -sə stri/
noun, plural ancestries.
family or ancestral descent; lineage.
honorable or distinguished descent:
famous by title and ancestry.
a series of ancestors:
His ancestry settled Utah.
the inception or origin of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
the history or developmental process of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
Origin of ancestry
1300-50; Middle English, equivalent to ancestre ancestor + -y3; replacing Middle English aunce(s)trie < Anglo-French
1. pedigree, genealogy, stock. 3. family, line. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ancestry
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His ancestry is among the most honorable known in American society.

  • If you study your characteristics and talents 26 you find that they repeat those of your ancestry.

    Almost A Man Mary Wood-Allen
  • We were shunned everywhere by both races from which we trace our ancestry.

    Lords of the Stratosphere Arthur J. Burks
  • Think not I am going to say that you put to shame in any way your ancestry—far from it.

    Anabasis Xenophon
  • Still, for all this irritating abuse Vulp had only himself and his ancestry to blame.

    Creatures of the Night Alfred W. Rees
British Dictionary definitions for ancestry


noun (pl) -tries
lineage or descent, esp when ancient, noble, or distinguished
ancestors collectively
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ancestry

early 14c., from Old French ancesserie "ancestry, ancestors, forefathers," from ancestre (see ancestor); spelling modified in English by influence of ancestor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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