- The definition of an ancestor is a person or creature from whom one is descended or who lived in the past, or a person who came before.
- Your great great-grandfather is an example of an ancestor.
- King David and King Solomon are each an example of an ancestor of Jesus.
- The Middle Eastern wildcat is an example of an ancestor of the modern house cat.
- any person from whom one is descended, esp. one earlier in a family line than a grandparent; forefather; forebear
- an early type of animal from which later kinds have evolved
- anything regarded as a precursor or forerunner of a later thing
- Law the deceased person from whom an estate has been inherited
Origin of ancestorMiddle English and amp; Old French ancestre ; from Classical Latin antecessor, one who goes before ; from past participle of antecedere ; from ante-, before + cedere, to go
- A person from whom one is descended, especially if more remote than a grandparent; a forebear.
- A forerunner or predecessor.
- Law The person from whom an estate has been inherited.
- Biology The actual or hypothetical organism or stock from which later kinds evolved.
Origin of ancestorMiddle English auncestre, from Old French, from Latin antecessor, predecessor, from antecessus, past participle of antecēdere, to precede : ante-, ante- + cēdere, to go; see ked- in Indo-European roots.
- One from whom a person is descended, whether on the father's or mother's side, at any distance of time; a progenitor; a forefather.
- An earlier type; a progenitor
- This fossil animal is regarded as the ancestor of the horse.
- (law) One from whom an estate has descended;—the correlative of heir.
- (figuratively) One who had the same role or function in former times.
- There is a rare feminine form ancestress
Middle English ancestre, auncestre, ancessour; the first forms from Old French ancestre (modern French ancêtre), from the Latin nominative antecessor one who goes before; the last form from Old French ancessor, from Latin accusative antecessorem, from antecedo (“to go before”); ante (“before”) + cedo (“to go”). See cede, and compare with antecessor.
ancestor - Legal Definition
- One, such as a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, who precedes another in lineage.
- Any relative from whom one inherits by intestate succession.