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  • 1. a. One from whom a person is descended, either by the father or mother; a progenitor, a forefather. (Usually said of those more remote than a grandfather.) Also, of animals, and fig. as ‘spiritual ancestor.’
b. attrib.
c. Law. A person who precedes another in the course of inheritance, and from whom an inheritance is derived, whether in the direct line of descent or not: correlative to heir. collateral ancestor: see COLLATERAL a. 4.
  • 2. Biol. An organized being of a lower or earlier type, whence others of a higher type subsequently existing are, according to the Evolution theory, inferred to have been ‘developed.’
Hence {sm}ancestor v. trans., to be the ancestor of; also transf.; {sm}ancestored (-{schwa}d) ppl. a., having an ancestor or ancestors (of a specified kind); {sm}ancestorship, the position of an ancestor.

See also