Ask Difference

Ancestor Definition and Meaning

By Fiza Rafique & Maham Liaqat — Published on May 22, 2024
Ancestor is a person from whom one is descended, typically one more remote than a grandparent. e.g., She displayed photos of her ancestors on the mantelpiece.

Ancestor Definitions

A person from whom one is descended, often more remote than a grandparent.
The children learned about their ancestors who immigrated over a century ago.
In biology, an earlier type of animal or plant from which others have evolved.
The dinosaur is considered an ancestor of modern birds.
A foundational figure or starting point in a lineage or series.
The village elders spoke of the tribe’s ancestors with great reverence.
An early kind of something that has developed into its current form.
Early mechanical calculators are ancestors of modern computers.
In genealogy, any person from whom one directly descends.
She traced her ancestor back to the seventeenth century through church records.
In computing, a predecessor in a hierarchy of files or data structures.
In the file system, each folder has an ancestor directory.
The original source of a characteristic, tradition, or aspect.
Folk tales are often ancestors of contemporary storytelling.
A cultural or spiritual forebear.
The rituals honor the spiritual ancestors of the community.
A forebear or progenitor of a group or family.
Many consider Alexander Hamilton an ancestor of modern economic policies.
An initiator or early model of a particular lineage or group.
The prototype served as the ancestor to all subsequent models.
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.
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.
(legal) One from whom an estate has descended;—the correlative of heir.
(figuratively) One who had the same role or function in former times.
(linguistics) A word or phrase which serves as the origin of a term in another language.
(transitive) To be an ancestor of.
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.
An earlier type; a progenitor; as, this fossil animal is regarded as the ancestor of the horse.
One from whom an estate has descended; - the correlative of heir.
Someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)

Ancestor Snonyms


Someone who held a position or office before the current holder.
The current policy was introduced by his predecessor.


An earliest ancestor or parent.
The genealogical study revealed the primogenitor of the clan.


An early ancestor.
Stories of the forefathers inspire the community’s annual celebrations.


Someone or something that precedes another in time.
The forerunners of modern jazz were incredibly innovative musicians.


A person or thing that comes before another of the same kind.
The horse-drawn buggy was a precursor to the modern automobile.


A direct ancestor or originator of a line of descent.
The progenitor of the family business set a high standard for quality.


An ancestor, especially one more remote than a grandparent.
Our cultural forebears left us a rich heritage of literature and art.


A thing or event that existed before or logically precedes another.
Many philosophical ideas have their antecedents in ancient Greece.


Someone who first thinks of or makes something.
The originator of the theory presented it at a conference decades ago.


A male ancestor, especially the founder of a family or line.
The patriarch of the family is honored at every family reunion.

Ancestor Idioms & Phrases

From one's ancestor

Derived from one's family lineage.
The recipe was passed down from her ancestors.

Ancestor footsteps

Following the same path as one's ancestors.
He followed in his ancestors' footsteps by joining the navy.

Ancestor Example Sentences

In her genealogy research, she discovered an ancestor who had been a noted inventor.
The old family photograph showed an ancestor who bore a striking resemblance to my brother.
She was proud of her ancestor who had signed the Declaration of Independence.
Their ancestor had migrated across continents, enduring many hardships along the way.
He often spoke about his ancestor who had fought in the Revolutionary War.

Common Curiosities

How is ancestor used in a sentence?

Ancestor is used to refer to a family member from a past generation, e.g., Her ancestor was one of the first settlers in the town.

Why is it called ancestor?

"Ancestor" comes from the Latin word "antecessor," meaning predecessor or one who goes before, reflecting the concept of earlier family generations.

How do we divide ancestor into syllables?

Ancestor is divided into syllables as follows: an-ces-tor.

What is a stressed syllable in ancestor?

The stressed syllable in "ancestor" is the first: AN-ces-tor.

What is the verb form of ancestor?

Ancestor is a noun and does not have a verb form.

What is the root word of ancestor?

The root word of ancestor is the Latin "antecessor," meaning one who goes before.

How many syllables are in ancestor?

There are three syllables in "ancestor."

What is the singular form of ancestor?

The singular form is "ancestor."

What is the pronunciation of ancestor?

Ancestor is pronounced as /ˈæn.sɛs.tər/.

Is ancestor a noun or adjective?

Ancestor is a noun.

Is ancestor an abstract noun?

No, ancestor is a concrete noun as it refers to actual persons from past generations.

Is the word ancestor imperative?

No, ancestor is a noun and cannot be imperative.

What is the plural form of ancestor?

The plural form is "ancestors."

Is ancestor a vowel or consonant?

Ancestor starts with a vowel sound.

Is ancestor a collective noun?

No, ancestor is not typically used as a collective noun; it refers to individual predecessors.

What is another term for ancestor?

Another term for ancestor is "forebear."

What is the opposite of ancestor?

The opposite of ancestor could be considered "descendant."

Is ancestor an adverb?

No, ancestor is not an adverb.

Is ancestor a countable noun?

Yes, ancestor is a countable noun.

Is the ancestor term a metaphor?

Ancestor can be used metaphorically to refer to anything that has preceded something else, especially in a developmental sense.

Is the word ancestor Gerund?

No, ancestor is not a verb, so it does not have a gerund form.

Which vowel is used before ancestor?

The article "an" is used before ancestor because it starts with a vowel sound.

Which preposition is used with ancestor?

Common prepositions used with ancestor include "of," "from," and "to," depending on the context.

Which conjunction is used with ancestor?

Conjunctions are not specifically associated with ancestor; usage depends on sentence structure.

Which article is used with ancestor?

The definite article "the" or the indefinite "an" can be used depending on the context, e.g., "an ancestor" or "the ancestors."

What part of speech is ancestor?

Ancestor is a noun.

Is ancestor a negative or positive word?

Ancestor is a neutral word; it does not inherently carry a positive or negative connotation.

Which determiner is used with ancestor?

Determiners like "my," "your," "our," "his," "her," "the," or "an" can be used with ancestor, depending on the context.

Is the word “ancestor” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Ancestor can function as a direct object in a sentence, e.g., "We honor our ancestors."

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger

Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Maham Liaqat

Popular Terms

New Terms

Trending Comparisons