1. [syn: ancestor, ascendant, ascendent, antecedent, root]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ancestor \An"ces*tor\, n. [OE. ancestre, auncestre, also
ancessour; the first forms fr. OF. ancestre, F. anc[^e]tre,
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.
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. (Biol.) An earlier type; a progenitor; as, this fossil
animal is regarded as the ancestor of the horse.
3. (Law) One from whom an estate has descended; -- the
correlative of heir.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: someone from whom you are descended (but usually more
remote than a grandparent) [syn: ancestor, ascendant,
ascendent, antecedent, root] [ant: descendant,
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
47 Moby Thesaurus words for "ancestor":
ancestress, announcer, antecedent, ascendant, avant-garde,
begetter, bellwether, buccinator, bushwhacker, explorer, forebear,
forefather, foregoer, forerunner, front runner, frontiersman,
fugleman, grandparent, groundbreaker, guide, harbinger, herald,
innovator, lead runner, leader, messenger, parent, pathfinder,
pioneer, point, precedent, precursor, predecessor, premise,
primogenitor, procreator, progenitor, progenitress, progenitrix,
prototype, scout, stormy petrel, trailblazer, trailbreaker,
vanguard, vaunt-courier, voortrekker
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
ANCESTOR, descents. One who has preceded another in a direct line of
descent; an ascendant. In the common law, the word is understood as well of
the immediate parents, as, of these that are higher; as may appear by the
statute 25 Ed. III. De natis ultra mare, and so in the statute of 6 R. III.
cap. 6, and by many others. But the civilians relations in the ascending
line, up to the great grandfather's parents, and those above them, they
term, majores, which common lawyers aptly expound antecessors or ancestors,
for in the descendants of like degree they are called posteriores. Cary's
Litt.45. The term ancestor is applied to natural persons. The words
predecessors and successors, are used in respect to the persons composing a
body corporate. See 2 Bl. Com. 209; Bac. Abr. h.t.; Ayl. Pand. 58.