Dictionary.com

ancestor

[ an-ses-ter or, especially British, -suh-ster ]
/ ˈæn sɛs tər or, especially British, -sə stər /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: ancestor / ancestors on Thesaurus.com

noun

a person from whom one is descended; forebear; progenitor.
Biology. the actual or hypothetical form or stock from which an organism has developed or descended.
an object, idea, style, or occurrence serving as a prototype, forerunner, or inspiration to a later one: The balloon is an ancestor of the modern dirigible.
a person who serves as an influence or model for another; one from whom mental, artistic, spiritual, etc., descent is claimed: a philosophical ancestor.
Law. a person from whom an heir derives an inheritance.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON “ITS” VS. “IT’S”!

Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of ancestor

1250–1300; Middle English ancestre<Old French (with t developed between s and r) <Latin antecessorantecessor
ancestor , descendant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for ancestor

ancestor
/ (ˈænsɛstə) /

noun

(often plural) a person from whom another is directly descended, esp someone more distant than a grandparent; forefather
an early type of animal or plant from which a later, usually dissimilar, type has evolved
a person or thing regarded as a forerunner of a later person or thingthe ancestor of the modern camera
ancestress, fem n
C13: from Old French ancestre, from Late Latin antecēssor one who goes before, from Latin antecēdere; see antecede
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
Get Online Help For Kids!