Definition of ancestral in English:



  • [attributive] Of, belonging to, inherited from, or denoting an ancestor or ancestors.

    ‘the family's ancestral home’
    ‘the only records of the ancestral forms are their fossils’
    • ‘An individual may claim the use of and the right to burial in the ancestral lands of either parent.’
    • ‘This gives you an idea of just how ancient this particular species was in terms of its ancestral lineage.’
    • ‘The father of two sons and six daughters, Muktiram lives in his ancestral home in Bharatpur.’
    • ‘Moreover, all other lineages can be traced to one of the ancestral types found in Africa.’
    • ‘That which is patrimonial is that which is inherited from the ancestral past.’
    • ‘I suppose you posh newcomers want to hijack our ancestral lands to grow your own organic fruit and veg.’
    • ‘The significance of the ancestral gods was an innate part of my growing up in Fiji.’
    • ‘Maybe it's the Maori ancestral blood going all kooky at being reunited with its ancient habitat?’
    • ‘The house is the ancestral home of Baron Stourton but after the family moved out in the 1960s it fell into disrepair.’
    • ‘With adversity comes maturity, and today Westwood enjoys a new appreciation for golf's ancestral home.’
    • ‘In addition, men possess other types of DNA that will tell him about the female ancestral line.’
    • ‘Think of the excitement a visit to his ancestral home there would create.’
    • ‘It thus seems likely that the ancestral arthropod from which insects evolved had appendages on all its segments.’
    • ‘The Sakya tradition is closely bound up with the Khon ancestral lineage, which derived from celestial beings.’
    • ‘These non-literate people were fighting to protect their ancestral homelands and their way of life.’
    • ‘That area, which belongs to the Maori people there in terms of ancestral use, he would walk all over.’
    • ‘It is believed that family members join the ancestral world after death to protect the living.’
    • ‘These are the places where ancestral remains are kept and ancestral spirits live.’
    • ‘This may explain the sometimes rapid reversion to ancestral cell sizes.’
    • ‘In West African culture, ancestral continuity is something to be celebrated rather than avoided.’
    inherited, hereditary, familial
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Late Middle English: from Old French ancestrel, from ancestre (see ancestor).