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- ancestour (obsolete)
- auncestor (obsolete)
- auncestour (obsolete)
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 antecessōrem, accusative of antecessor, from antecēdō (“to go before”) + -tor (“-er”), from ante- (“before”) + cēdō (“to go”). See cede, and compare with antecessor.
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈæn.sɛs.tɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈæn.sɛs.tə/
- Hyphenation: an‧ces‧tor
Audio (US) (file)
ancestor (plural ancestors)
- 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.
- 2013 July 20, “Old soldiers?”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
- Whether modern, industrial man is less or more warlike than his hunter-gatherer ancestors is impossible to determine. The machine gun is so much more lethal than the bow and arrow that comparisons are meaningless.
- 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.
- 2011 October 1, Saj Chowdhury, “Wolverhampton 1-2 Newcastle”, in BBC Sport:
- The Magpies are unbeaten and enjoying their best run since 1994, although few would have thought the class of 2011 would come close to emulating their ancestors.
- (linguistics) A word or phrase which serves as the origin of a term in another language.
- There is a rare feminine form ancestress
- (person from whom one is descended): forebear, fore-elder, forefather
- (previous fulfiller of a role or duty): predecessor
- (originating word): reflex, source, origin
one from whom a person is descended
an earlier type
ancestor (third-person singular simple present ancestors, present participle ancestoring, simple past and past participle ancestored)
- (transitive) To be an ancestor of.
- 1920, Marie Conway Oemler, The Purple Heights, page 9:
- Her own grandfather had been a Virginian, a descendant of Pocahontas, of course, Pocahontas having been created by Divine Providence for the specific purpose of ancestoring Virginians.
- 1942, William Faulkner, “The Bear”, in Go down, Moses: and other stories, page 281:
- But he could have completed it: Lucas Quintus Carothers McCaslin Beauchamp. Last surviving sone and child of Tomey's Terrel and Tennie Beauchamp. March 17, 1874 except that there was no need: not Lucius Quintus &c &c &c, but Lucas Quintus, not refusing to be called Lucius, because he simply eliminated that word from the name; not denying, declining the name itself, because he used three quarters of it; but simply taking the name and changing, altering it, making it no longer the white man's but his own , by himself composed, himself selfprogenitive and nominate, by himself ancestored, as, for all the old ledgers recorded to the contrary, old Carothers himself was
- 2006, Richard T. Hull, Presidential Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, 1951-1960:
- The human population of this earth is descended from a most adaptable population, that which originated living matter and then proceeded through continuous specific change to become the population that ancestored man.
- 2010, Peter Loptson, Reality: Fundamental Topics in Metaphysics, →ISBN, page 171:
- How, that is, could ancestoring Elizabeth become a relational property of James's, when there was, when Elizabeth began to exist, no James to have this property?
- English terms derived from Middle English
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