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; as, this fossil animal is regarded as the ancestor of the horse.

3. One from whom an estate has descended; the correlative of heir.

Origin: OE. Ancestre, auncestre, also ancessour; the first forms fr. OF. Ancestre, F. Ancetre, 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.

(01 Mar 1998)

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