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[an-ses-tree or, esp. British, -suh-stree] /ˈæn sɛs tri or, esp. British, -sə stri/
noun, plural ancestries.
family or ancestral descent; lineage.
honorable or distinguished descent:
famous by title and ancestry.
a series of ancestors:
His ancestry settled Utah.
the inception or origin of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
the history or developmental process of a phenomenon, object, idea, or style.
Origin of ancestry
1300-50; Middle English, equivalent to ancestre ancestor + -y3; replacing Middle English aunce(s)trie < Anglo-French
1. pedigree, genealogy, stock. 3. family, line. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ancestry
  • Info on their medical history, ancestry, and current meds was already available but not linked to specific participants.
  • The proposition that other people have a right to forcibly evict such people by virtue of sharing the same ancestry is spurious.
  • The bones of its hind legs, for example, have played an important role in the dispute about bird ancestry.
  • But many owners have no knowledge of their cats' ancestry.
  • All people alive today can trace their ancestry back to these humans, according to previous studies.
  • While his voice and spirit are unique to him, in exploring his own ancestry, he shows us our own.
  • Some one has well said that interest in ancestry is always the result of progress in civilization.
  • According to two research teams, the ancient whale remains reveal telltale signs of artiodactyl ancestry.
  • The results stand to elucidate not only the ancestry of hippos but also that of whales.
  • Biological evolution and common ancestry are real and proved by the convergence of the sciences.
British Dictionary definitions for ancestry


noun (pl) -tries
lineage or descent, esp when ancient, noble, or distinguished
ancestors collectively
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 ancestry

early 14c., from Old French ancesserie "ancestry, ancestors, forefathers," from ancestre (see ancestor); spelling modified in English by influence of ancestor.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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