9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[proh-jen-i-ter] /proʊˈdʒɛn ɪ tər/
a biologically related ancestor:
a progenitor of the species.
a person or thing that first indicates a direction, originates something, or serves as a model; predecessor; precursor:
the progenitor of modern painting.
Origin of progenitor
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin prōgenitor the founder of a family. See pro-1, genitor
Related forms
[proh-jen-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /proʊˌdʒɛn ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
progenitorship, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for progenitor
  • Cloning for reproduction would produce an identical twin younger than his or her progenitor.
  • Any critique that doesn't reference the progenitor misses the obvious.
  • The history of life is often represented by a tree, with each existing species evolving directly from a single progenitor species.
  • This, in turn, would be evidence of a common progenitor.
  • Researchers are instead using neural progenitor cells in fetal brain tissue, which are in the early stages of brain development.
  • We thought maybe these bone progenitor cells are driving down a decision path.
  • Paleontologists can't tell how close any particular specimen was to the progenitor of the primates.
  • Periodic disruption and change is the progenitor of diversity, stability and abundance.
British Dictionary definitions for progenitor


a direct ancestor
an originator or founder of a future development; precursor
Word Origin
C14: from Latin: ancestor, from pro-1 + genitor parent, from gignere to beget
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 progenitor

late 14c., from Anglo-French progenitour (mid-14c.), Old French progeniteur (14c.) and directly from Latin progenitor "ancestor, the founder of a family," agent noun from progenitus, past participle of progignere (see progeny). Related: Progenitive; progenital; progenitrix (c.1600).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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progenitor in Medicine

progenitor pro·gen·i·tor (prō-jěn'ĭ-tər)

  1. A direct ancestor.

  2. An originator of a line of descent.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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