An"ces*tor (#), n. [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.]

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.

 

© Webster 1913.

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