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Merrian-Webster Dictionary

Type: noun
Pronunciation: ˈan-ˌses-tər -səs-
- one from whom a person is descended and who is usually more remote in the line of descent than a grandparent
- a progenitor of a more recent or existing species or group

© 2013 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated

Merrian-Webster Thesauruses

Definition: a person who is several generations earlier in an individual's line of descent
Example: Bridie's Irish ancestors immigrated to the United States in the 19th century during the Great Potato Famine
Synonyms: father, forebear (also forbear), forebearer, forefather, grandfather, primogenitor, progenitor
Related: antecessor, predecessor [archaic]; ancestress, foremother, grandmother, matriarch; grandsire [archaic], patriarch, sire [archaic]; ancestry, antecedents, roots

Definition: something belonging to an earlier time from which something else was later developed
Example: pinball machines—the ancestors of today's video games—go back to the 19th century
Synonyms: antecedent, archetype, daddy, foregoer, forerunner, granddaddy (also grandaddy), precursor, predecessor, prototype
Related: model, original; originator, sire; father, mother

© 2013 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated