American English

Definition of ancestor noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a person in your family who lived a long time ago synonym forebear His ancestors had come to America from Ireland.
  2. 2an animal that lived in the past, that a modern animal has developed from a reptile that was the common ancestor of lizards and turtles
  3. 3an early form of a machine that later became more developed synonym forerunner The ancestor of the modern bicycle was called a penny-farthing. compare descendant
adjective her ancestral home (= that had belonged to her ancestors )
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: ancestor