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[fawr-fah-th er, fohr-] /ˈfɔrˌfɑ ðər, ˈfoʊr-/
an ancestor.
Origin of forefather
1250-1300; Middle English forefader. See fore-, father
Related forms
forefatherly, adjective
forebear, progenitor, patriarch, forerunner. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for forefathers
  • It's a great improvement on campfire teachings of our forefathers.
  • And our forefathers gave us an economic system that produced opportunities for our citizens unlike any other country in the world.
  • Let's focus on the beauty of what our nation's forefathers bequeathed us.
  • It proves to us how right our forefathers were in separating from them.
  • They, or their forefathers, have made their choices.
  • They are the forefathers of today's pop-music styles as pioneers of the loop.
  • In honor of their royal reinstatement, they commissioned a grand castle to be built on the land of their forefathers.
  • Such was the order established by their forefathers, and what their posterity still pursue.
  • The notions of the beginning and the end of the world entertained by our forefathers are no longer credible.
  • Our forefathers actually walked across the whole country with their wagons to achieve their goals.
British Dictionary definitions for forefathers


an ancestor, esp a male
Derived Forms
forefatherly, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for forefathers



"ancestor," c.1300, from fore- + father (n.); perhaps directly from Old Norse forfaðir.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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