- 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.
Origin of ancestor
Examples from the Web for ancestor
It is possible to name an ancestor to this obsessive-compulsive noir: David Lynch.‘True Detective,’ Obsessive-Compulsive Noir, and ‘Twin Peaks’
March 14, 2014
Soon after he was seen stumping for the Assad regime in his ancestor's conflagrated homeland.Abdel el-Zabayar: From Parliament to the Frontlines
September 15, 2013
Schiele is, if nothing else, an ancestor of the best in long-legged fashion illustration.Might Hef Have Approved?
November 13, 2012
So a story prefigures Light in August, just as an ancestor precedes a descendant.C.E. Morgan: ‘Light in August’ is Faulkner’s Great American Novel
August 16, 2012
That "digital" gesture is a reminder that weavings are the ancestor of today's computer-treated images.Hand-Knotted Pixels
June 11, 2012
The fate of the ancestor had been typical of that of his descendants.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
An account of one's descent from an ancestor who did not particularly care to trace his own.The Devil's Dictionary
The ancestor of Pi-Lo nearly destroyed our entire clan by fire.The Chinese Fairy Book
The caterpillar, for example, resembles the worm which is the ancestor of the insects.The Sexual Question
An Artaud, their ancestor, had come hither and settled like a pariah in this waste.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
- (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
Word Origin and History for ancestor
c.1300, ancestre, antecessour, from Old French ancestre (12c., Modern French ancêtre), from Late Latin antecessor "predecessor," literally "foregoer," agent noun from past participle stem of Latin antecedere "to precede," from ante- "before" (see ante) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Current form from early 15c. Feminine form ancestress recorded from 1570s.