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.
- ancestor , descendant
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use ancestor in a sentence
An analysis of molecular alterations in mitochondrial DNA samples indicated that two maternal lineages had split from a common ancestor between about 86,000 and 22,000 years ago.Climate change, not hunters, may have killed off woolly rhinos | Bruce Bower | August 13, 2020 | Science News
Eventually alien biologists in these places might concern themselves with a tree of life incorporating multiple planetary incubators, and their genome-mapping companies would tell you who your planetary ancestors were.How Life Could Continue to Evolve - Issue 88: Love & Sex | Caleb Scharf | August 12, 2020 | Nautilus
None of the matings in any of the generations are between individuals with a common ancestor.How to Design (or at Least Model) Mixed Dog Breeds | Pradeep Mutalik | July 31, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
While BigDog is the ancestor of later four-legged robots, like Spot, Petman preceded the two-legged Atlas robot.The Robot Revolution Was Televised: Our All-Time Favorite Boston Dynamics Robot Videos | Jason Dorrier | July 19, 2020 | Singularity Hub
Proof that the handedness of particles really can mutate microbes would strengthen their case that cosmic rays shoved our ancestors off the evolutionary starting block, but it still wouldn’t fully explain the uniform chirality of life on Earth.Cosmic Rays May Explain Life’s Bias for Right-Handed DNA | Charlie Wood | June 29, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
There is also a mysterious Moomin ancestor who lives permanently in the stove.
Natives from all over the New World could host a great celebration to honor their oldest ancestor.Incontrovertible Evidence Proves the First Americans Came From Asia | Doug Peacock | March 27, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is possible to name an ancestor to this obsessive-compulsive noir: David Lynch.‘True Detective,’ Obsessive-Compulsive Noir, and ‘Twin Peaks’ | Jimmy So | March 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Soon after he was seen stumping for the Assad regime in his ancestor's conflagrated homeland.Abdel el-Zabayar: From Parliament to the Frontlines | Mac Margolis | September 15, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Schiele is, if nothing else, an ancestor of the best in long-legged fashion illustration.
He married the widow of —— Bradley, and was the ancestor of the baronets of Caversham, extinct in 1774.
There could not, indeed, be stronger evidence that man has descended from a quadruped ancestor.
In an occasional horse the long-lost stripes of the zebra-like ancestor reappear.
As regards the pointed ear of man's probable ancestor, Darwin calls attention to what seems a trace in man of the lost tip.
This is by no means to suggest that some one of the existing anthropoid apes is the direct ancestor of man.
British Dictionary definitions for ancestor
(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 thing: the ancestor of the modern camera
- ancestress, fem n
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