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[fawr-bair, fohr-] /ˈfɔrˌbɛər, ˈfoʊr-/
Usually, forebears. ancestors; forefathers.
Also, forbear.
Origin of forebear
1425-75; Middle English (Scots), equivalent to fore- fore- + -bear being, variant of beer; see be, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for forebears
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The zebra is striped 356rather than spotted because its forebears wore stripes.

    The Blue Wall

    Richard Washburn Child
  • You'll find it easy to trace the strong resemblance Frankie has to his forebears.

    Old Mr. Wiley

    Fanny Greye La Spina
  • Like his forebears and contemporaries, he looked upon man as the real being.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • The trumpet-call of her forebears was in those stirring lines.

    Heroines of Service Mary Rosetta Parkman
  • By the by, father, he says, that the grand old place once belonged to my forebears.

    The World Before Them Susanna Moodie
  • The sudden emotions of his Gallic forebears swept through him.

    The Landloper Holman Day
  • And no doubt Max inherits the taste for a seafaring life from me and my forebears.

    Elsie's Winter Trip Martha Finley
British Dictionary definitions for forebears


an ancestor; forefather
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 forebears


see forbear. Related: Forebearance; forebears.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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