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definition of the word ancestor

by the Wiktionnary

Old English ancestre, auncestre, also ancessour; the first forms from Old French ancestre, French ancêtre, from the Latin nom. antessor one who goes before; the last form from Old French ancessor, from Latin acc. antecessorem, from antecedere to go before; ante before + cedere to go. See Cede, and compare with Antecessor.



ancestor (plural ancestors) (female ancestress)

  1. One from whom a person is descended, whether on the father's or mother's side, at any distance of time; a progenitor; a fore father.
  2. (Biology) An earlier type; a progenitor
    This fossil animal is regarded as the ancestor of the horse.
  3. (Law) One from whom an estate has descended;—the correlative of heir.

Definition from Wiktionary
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