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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But they were good enough for the occasion and their very form was sacred by ancestry.

    Ande Trembath Matthew Stanley Kemp
  • Still, for all this irritating abuse Vulp had only himself and his ancestry to blame.

    Creatures of the Night Alfred W. Rees
  • In regard to their ancestry it is very difficult to trace back to the original stock from which they came.

    Modern Persia Mooshie G. Daniel
  • I envy you what smacks of a race, a name, an ancestry, a lineage.

    Lord Kilgobbin Charles Lever
  • His father was a man of unmingled African extraction and his mother a white woman of respectable New England ancestry.

    The History of the Negro Church Carter Godwin Woodson
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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