• synonyms


[an-ses-tree or, esp. British, -suh-stree]
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noun, plural an·ces·tries.
  1. family or ancestral descent; lineage.
  2. honorable or distinguished descent: famous by title and ancestry.
  3. a series of ancestors: His ancestry settled Utah.
  4. the inception or origin of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
  5. the history or developmental process of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
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Origin of ancestry

1300–50; Middle English, equivalent to ancestre ancestor + -y3; replacing Middle English aunce(s)trie < Anglo-French

Synonyms for ancestry

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for ancestry

origin, parentage, descent, genealogy, antecedent, forebear, extraction, heritage, lineage, ancestor, progenitor, race, pedigree, forefather, precursor, house, breed, kindred, source, forerunner

Examples from the Web for ancestry

Contemporary Examples of ancestry

Historical Examples of ancestry

  • 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.

  • Think not I am going to say that you put to shame in any way your ancestry—far from it.



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

British Dictionary definitions for ancestry


noun plural -tries
  1. lineage or descent, esp when ancient, noble, or distinguished
  2. ancestors collectively
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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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper