follow Dictionary.com

Your favorite word could be our Word of the Day!

progenitor

[proh-jen-i-ter] /proʊˈdʒɛn ɪ tər/
noun
1.
a biologically related ancestor:
a progenitor of the species.
2.
a person or thing that first indicates a direction, originates something, or serves as a model; predecessor; precursor:
the progenitor of modern painting.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin prōgenitor the founder of a family. See pro-1, genitor
Related forms
progenitorial
[proh-jen-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /proʊˌdʒɛn ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/ (Show IPA),
adjective
progenitorship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
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

progenitor

/prəʊˈdʒɛnɪtə/
noun
1.
a direct ancestor
2.
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for progenitor
n.

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
Cite This Source
progenitor in Medicine

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

  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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for progenitor

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for progenitor

13
16
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with progenitor