Definition of forebear in English:

forebear

(also forbear)

noun

usually one's forebears
  • An ancestor.

    ‘generations of his forebears had lived in London’
    • ‘No longer do young people absorb information about their forebears from grandparents.’
    • ‘One cannot hope to rise or succeed in the world unless one's forebears had the requisite abilities.’
    • ‘We think our readers will be surprised and encouraged to discover that the forebear of fundamentalism was a true Baptist guided by historic convictions.’
    • ‘As a child, I heard the stories from my father about our notable forebear, an honest man who was saved from a massacre, the sole survivor.’
    • ‘In this, they are deploying a weapon their forebears did not have.’
    • ‘I know by my family history that a forebear of mine turned on the gods of Mother India and professed faith to the One True God.’
    • ‘What the Council might have said more explicitly is that their forebears are also our forebears.’
    • ‘A small estate winery, located west of St. Catharines on 80 acres of land first deeded to family forebear in 1794.’
    • ‘I'm sorry, your forebears must have lived in a parallel universe to mine. Is this the Victorian age of the Little Match Girl?’
    • ‘Your personality, life course and career will have no necessary relation to that of your forebear.’
    • ‘But their forebears were, generations ago, driven from this area by European settlers.’
    • ‘It does not really take very much time over a family lunch to begin to enquire about one's forebears.’
    • ‘But a congregation of Christian believers are not able to use it and love it as the holy space that it was for generations of their forebears.’
    • ‘We must erect a national monument to our forebears who lived and died in U.S. slavery.’
    • ‘They lived among a large majority of black people, whose forebears they had exploited and abused.’
    • ‘Many of his forebears had colonial ties and his father spent his career in India.’
    • ‘Present generations need to know about their forebears, he said.’
    • ‘Gilbert and George were the forebears of an artistic generation that holds everything to be ironic.’
    • ‘These tales are filled with the blood and tears of my forebears.’
    • ‘My forebear was, according to the family account, very depressed when his teeth started falling out when he was in late middle age.’
    ancestor, forefather, predecessor, progenitor, father, grandfather, parent, grandparent
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century: from fore + bear, variant of obsolete beer ‘someone who exists’ (from be + -er).

Pronunciation

forebear

/ˈfɔːbɛː/