[an-ses-tree or, esp. British, -suh-stree]

noun, plural an·ces·tries.

family or ancestral descent; lineage.
honorable or distinguished descent: famous by title and ancestry.
a series of ancestors: His ancestry settled Utah.
the inception or origin of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
the history or developmental process of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.

Origin of ancestry

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

Synonyms for ancestry Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

lineage or descent, esp when ancient, noble, or distinguished
ancestors collectively
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper