Definition of Ancestor
(noun) An individual from whom you are descended.
Examples of Ancestor
- Your mother, father, and grandparents are your ancestors.
- If your culture or society uses matrilineal descent; in that instance your mother and your grandmother are your ancestors, but not your father or grandfather.
- American English – /An-ses-tuhr/
- British English – /An-se-stuh/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈænˌsɛstər/
- British English – /ˈansɛstə/
- Plural: ancestors
- Ancestor worship refers to the honoring the dead spirits (ancestor spirits) of an individual’s or group’s ancestors. Ancestors may be asked for help through prayer or have sacrifices given in their honor to stop them from harming living people.
- Ancestress is a rarely used feminine form of ancestor.
- An ancestor comes before you and a descendant comes after you.
- Also called:
- An individual’s or group’s (noun) ancestry describes descent or (adjective) ancestral line.
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “ancestor” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.
Ember, Carol R., and Melvin Ember, eds. 2003. Encyclopedia of Sex and Gender: Men and Women in the World’s Cultures. New York: Springer.
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Cite the Definition of Ancestor
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “ancestor.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/ancestor/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
ancestor. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/ancestor/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “ancestor.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/ancestor/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“ancestor.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/ancestor/>.