forefather

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English forefader, forfader, vorvader, from Old English fōrefæder (forefather), but possibly also merged with Old Norse forfaðir. Equivalent to fore- +‎ father. Compare Dutch voorvader (forefather), German Vorvater, Vorvahr (forefather), Danish forfader (forefather), Swedish förfader (forefather).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

forefather (plural forefathers)

  1. Ancestor.Wp
    • 1907, Robert William Chambers, chapter II, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      His forefathers had been, as a rule, professional men—physicians and lawyers; his grandfather died under the walls of Chapultepec Castle while twisting a tourniquet for a cursing dragoon; an uncle remained indefinitely at Malvern Hill; an only brother at Montauk Point having sickened in the trenches before Santiago.
  2. Cultural ancestor; one who originated an idea or tradition.

Translations[edit]