[ proh-jen-i-ter ]
/ proʊˈdʒɛn ɪ tər /


a biologically related ancestor: a progenitor of the species.
a person or thing that first indicates a direction, originates something, or serves as a model; predecessor; precursor: the progenitor of modern painting.

Origin of progenitor

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin prōgenitor the founder of a family. See pro-1, genitor

Related forms

pro·gen·i·to·ri·al [proh-jen-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /proʊˌdʒɛn ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectivepro·gen·i·tor·ship, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for progenitor

British Dictionary definitions for progenitor


/ (prəʊˈdʒɛnɪtə) /


a direct ancestor
an originator or founder of a future development; precursor

Word Origin for progenitor

C14: from Latin: ancestor, from pro- 1 + genitor parent, from gignere to beget
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

Medicine definitions for progenitor


[ prō-jĕnĭ-tər ]


A direct ancestor.
An originator of a line of descent.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.