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Origin of primogenitor

1645–55; < Late Latin prīmōgenitor ancestor, equivalent to Latin prīmō at first + genitor genitor Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for primogenitor


  1. a forefather; ancestor
  2. an earliest parent or ancestor, as of a race

Word Origin for primogenitor

C17: alteration of progenitor after primogeniture
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 primogenitor

"an ancestor," late 15c., from Medieval Latin primogenitor, from Latin primo (adv.) "first in order of time; at first," from primus "first" (see prime (adj.)) + genitor "father," from genitus, past participle of gignere "to beget" (see genus). Related: Primogenital; primogenitary. The fem. form is primogenitrix (1875). The rights of a second son are secundogeniture.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper