One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A female ancestor or parent.
Late 15th century; earliest use found in John Skelton (c1460–1529), poet. From post-classical Latin progenitrix ancestress (recorded in an 8th-cent. epitome of a 2nd-cent. grammarian; also 636 in Isidore), feminine form corresponding to classical Latin prōgenitor; compare -trix.
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