Find the word definition

Crossword clues for ancestor

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
a remote ancestor (=someone related to you, who lived a long time ago)
▪ It is the direct ancestor of the organization Daley inherited.
▪ Folk-song is the direct ancestor of lyric poetry, and the simplest artistic form that unites the Apolline and the Dionysiac.
▪ Although the crabs' distant ancestors came from the sea, these are land crabs.
▪ Likewise, our early ancestors most probably sifted out the useful plants by scent, sight and intuition.
▪ After all, these were the most primitive people of all, our earliest ancestors.
▪ They were slanted somehow, and he recollected pictures he had seen of the early ancestors of the Manchu.
▪ The question has been frequently asked: Just how intelligent were our early modern ancestors?
▪ Yet our early fire-raising ancestors hardly qualify as polluters.
▪ And yet, one aspect of the lives of our earliest ancestors still astonishes us.
▪ Marija Gimbutas Our earliest ancestors were nomads, travelers in small groups who followed the seasonal plants and the herds of reindeer.
▪ They had dropped out of the human chain of ancestors and descendants that had formerly bound them all together.
▪ The human ancestors, in other words, were not even drop-outs, they were throw-outs.
▪ He had no human ancestor and he was himself only half human.
▪ Its genes also hint at its remote ancestors.
▪ Our remote ancestors took two hundred million years to learn how to adapt to the land.
▪ Our remote ancestors were among those who found it expedient to change and diversify.
▪ Desmond Morris interprets the behaviour of domesticated horses, and reveals it as being much the same as their wild ancestors.
▪ The wild ancestors of our domestic cats liked to eat freshly killed prey - they were not scavengers.
▪ Those refined beasts were a small sample of the diversity of their wild ancestors.
▪ All these breeds descend from some wild ancestor.
Wild at heart Another much-fostered fallacy is that farm animals are now quite different from their wild and free ancestors.
▪ After all, these islands have been steeped for centuries in everything from witchcraft to ancestor worship.
▪ The sacred, the past, ancestor worship seem to be the chosen grounds in most cases.
▪ Pre-Columbian ancestor worship finds expression in prayers to the saints.
▪ There is no clearer case of ancestor worship in the Western world.
▪ This form developed bipedalism and other adaptations to the newly opening arid savannah landscape and eventually became the ancestor of man.
▪ Cain becomes an ancestor, and Abel does not.
▪ All the known forms were fitted into a single sequence so that the Neanderthals became our own immediate ancestors.
▪ A gene has only one criterion by which posterity judges it: whether it becomes an ancestor of other genes.
▪ Man appears to be descended from patrilineal ancestors.
▪ All plants and animals are, with hindsight, the same because they all descend from an ancestor three billion years old.
▪ All these breeds descend from some wild ancestor.
▪ The oldest are almost living ancestors.
▪ We live, like our ancestors of the late fourth and early fifth centuries, in an age of anxiety and dread.
▪ They live, like their ancestors, in packs of a dozen or so.
▪ As descent always involves modification, resemblance decreases as a shared ancestor recedes into the past.
▪ Each is derived, no doubt, from some ancient shared ancestor.
▪ For the genealogist, however, the principal value of the returns lies in the help they provide in tracing elusive ancestors.
▪ During the festival of Obon, Japanese show respect to their dead ancestors.
▪ Most of Luke's ancestors were Italian.
▪ My ancestors originally came form Ireland.
▪ About 7 million years ago the ancestors of mankind began to diverge from the ancestors of modern chimpanzees.
▪ Blood, he tells us, was associated by our ancestors with iron, because of the red that hides within the ore.
▪ His ancestor had been Gia Long, the emperor whose cause had been helped by Pigneau de Behaine.
▪ It's no surprise to learn that she numbers among her ancestors the Brothers Grimm.
▪ It is also found at all levels, not just among our nearest evolutionary ancestors, the monkeys and the apes.
▪ Ray was knocking them down one by one, unlike his tragic ancestor who only knocked himself down.
▪ There had been twelve of the chairs originally, made in 1750 for an ancestor of ours in Jamestown.
▪ This form developed bipedalism and other adaptations to the newly opening arid savannah landscape and eventually became the ancestor of man.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ancestor \An"ces*tor\, n. [OE. ancestre, auncestre, also ancessour; the first forms fr. OF. ancestre, F. anc[^e]tre, fr. the L. nom. antessor one who goes before; the last form fr. OF. ancessor, fr. L. acc. antecessorem, fr. antecedere to go before; ante before + cedere to go. See Cede, and cf. Antecessor.]

  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. (Biol.) An earlier type; a progenitor; as, this fossil animal is regarded as the ancestor of the horse.

  3. (Law) One from whom an estate has descended; -- the correlative of heir.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1300, ancestre, antecessour, from Old French ancestre (12c., Modern French ancêtre), from Late Latin antecessor "predecessor," literally "foregoer," agent noun from past participle stem of Latin antecedere "to precede," from ante- "before" (see ante) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Current form from early 15c. Feminine form ancestress recorded from 1570s.


n. 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.


n. someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent) [syn: ascendant, ascendent, antecedent, root] [ant: descendant]


An ancestor or ' forebear' is a parent or ( recursively) the parent of an ancestor (i.e., a grandparent, great-grandparent, great-great-grandparent, and so forth). Ancestor is "any person from whom one is descended. In law the person from whom an estate has been inherited."

Two individuals have a genetic relationship if one is the ancestor of the other, or if they share a common ancestor from the past. In evolutionary theory, species which share an evolutionary ancestor are said to be of common descent. However, this concept of ancestry does not apply to some bacteria and other organisms capable of horizontal gene transfer.

Assuming that all of an individual's ancestors are otherwise unrelated to each other, that individual has 2 ancestors in the nth generation before him and a total of about 2 ancestors in the g generations before him. In practice, however, it is clear that the vast majority of ancestors of humans (and indeed any other species) are multiply related (see pedigree collapse). Consider n = 40: the human species is more than 40 generations old, yet the number 2, approximately 10 or one trillion, dwarfs the number of humans who have ever lived.

Ignoring the possibility of other inter-relationships (even distant ones) among ancestors, an individual has a total of 2046 ancestors up to the 10th generation, 1024 of which are 10th-generation ancestors. With the same assumption, any given person has over a billion 30th-generation ancestors (who lived roughly 1000 years ago) and this theoretical number increases past the estimated total population of the world in around AD 1000. (All of these ancestors will have contributed to one's autosomal DNA: this excludes Y-chromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA.)

Some cultures confer reverence to ancestors, both living and dead; in contrast, some more youth-oriented cultural contexts display less veneration of elders. In other cultural contexts, some people seek providence from their deceased ancestors; this practice is sometimes known as ancestor worship or, more accurately, ancestor veneration.

Ancestor (sculpture)

Ancestor is a public art work by artist Masayuki Nagare located at the Lynden Sculpture Garden near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The abstract black granite sculpture has some highly polished surfaces and some which remain rough; it is installed on the lawn.

Ancestor (novel)

Ancestor is a science fiction thriller novel by New York Times bestselling author Scott Sigler. The novel was released in podcast format in 2006, with it also being released in print via Dragon Moon Press in 2007. Ancestor was later re-released by Crown Publishing in 2010.

Ancestor (disambiguation)

An ancestor is a progenitor from which individuals or groups are descended.

Ancestor, ancestors, or ancestry may also refer to:

  • Ancestor (novel), a 2006 novel by Scott Sigler
  • Ancestor (sculpture), a 1965 public sculpture in Madison, Wisconsin
  • Ancestors (band), a metal band from Los Angeles, California
  • Ancestors (album), a 2012 album by Wadada Leo Smith
  • Ancestors (EP), a 1997 EP by Edith Frost
  • Ancestors (TV series), a public television mini-series on family history
  •, a genealogy website
  • The Ancestor, a 1936 Italian film

Usage examples of "ancestor".

Anyway, however they were spelled, all her ancestors had been Aching to stay, not Aching to leave.

In a sense, the serial killers of the 1990s were the spiritual children of the hippies of the sixties, and their common ancestors would be the Viennese Actionists of the fifties.

But the crowders, like their common adapid ancestors, relied heavily on the caterpillars and grubs they snatched from the branches, and they had sharp, narrow teeth to process their insect prey.

And in the event, it has hitherto been found, that, though some sensible inconveniencies arise from the maxim of adhering strictly to law, yet the advantages overbalance them, and should render the English grateful to the memory of their ancestors, who, after repeated contests, at last established that noble, though dangerous principle.

The monarch alone assumed the superior pride of still adhering to the simplicity of his Scythian ancestors.

Now, Akka healing woman and our brother Tanioinin pray to the ancestor, the old mother of their tribe.

Amongst the Central Australian natives there is never any idea of appealing for assistance to any one of these Alcheringa ancestors in any way, nor is there any attempt made in the direction of propitiation, with one single exception in the case of the mythic creature called Wollunqua, amongst the Warramunga tribe, who, it may be remarked, is most distinctly regarded as a snake and not as a human being.

Tiin traced his ancestory back through an entirely male line for a thousand generations to Ramszak himself but he fared no better than his illustrious but defeated ancestor.

The importance of this cave and the existence of petroglyphs made by the earliest Ancestral Attendants were a secret she had promised the Ancestors and their Attendants she would keep.

Ancestors sing about the rivers of time and the endless sea of life and so forth maybe some Ancestral Friend took them seriously!

I am the Highmagister HaGurdy and I believe in your time we are known to you collectively as the Ancestral Hosts although, of course, we are actually your ancestors as well.

American ancestor settled as the first permanent minister beyond the mountains, following the paths of the French priests in their missions and became a member of a presbytery extending from the mountains to the setting sun, until my last collateral ancestor living among the Indians helped survey the range lines of new States and finally marked the boundaries of the last farms in the passes of the Rockies, that ancestry has followed the frontier westward from where Celoron planted the emblems of French possession along the Ohio to where Chevalier la Verendrye looked upon the snowy and impassable peaks of the Rockies.

They were all of immigrant ancestors, and most of them of most recent immigrant ancestry, or of foreign birth.

Let it be also conceded that small deviations from the antecedent colouring or form would tend to make some of their ancestors escape destruction, by causing them more or less frequently to be passed over or mistaken by their persecutors.

She came from Wales and had had, a long time ago, an eminent person for an ancestor, of the name of Morgan apKerrig--of some place that sounded like Gimlet--who was the most illustrious person that ever was known and all of whose relations were a sort of royal family.