forebear


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fore·bear

also for·bear  (fôr′bâr′)
n.
A person from whom one is descended; an ancestor. See Synonyms at ancestor.

[Late Middle English (Scottish) forbear : Middle English fore-, fore- + beer, one who is (from ben, to be; see be + -er, -er; see -er1).]
Usage Note: Etymologically, a forebear is a "a fore-be-er," a person who has existed in earlier times. But because the -bear part of this word is pronounced to rhyme with the verb bear, people apparently conceive of the word's meaning as "a person who has given birth in earlier times," or "a person who has borne burdens in earlier times," as if it was a compound of the prefix fore- and the verb bear. The existence of the verb forbear has probably reinforced this notion, even though that verb means "to restrain oneself from doing something" and has lost its original meaning of "to endure." At any rate, the noun forebearer is sometimes found in place of forebear even in edited prose in sentences like His forebearers had crossed the Appalachians shortly after the American Revolution. The Usage Panel rejects this usage strongly but not overwhelmingly. In fact, 36 percent accepted this sentence in our 2008 survey, suggesting that forebearer may soon be a word whose time has come.

forebear

(ˈfɔːˌbɛə) or

forbear

n
an ancestor; forefather

fore•bear

for•bear

(ˈfɔrˌbɛər, ˈfoʊr-)

n.
ancestor; forefather.
[1425–75; Middle English (Scots) =fore- fore- + -bear being, variant of beer]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.forebear - a person from whom you are descended
ancestor, antecedent, ascendant, ascendent, root - someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
grandparent - a parent of your father or mother
great grandparent - a parent of your grandparent

forebear

noun ancestor, father, predecessor, forerunner, forefather, progenitor I'll come back to the land of my forebears.

forebear

noun
A person from whom one is descended:
Archaic: predecessor.
Translations

forebear

[ˈfɔːrbɛər] nancêtre m

forebear

1
n (form)Vorfahr(in) m(f), → Ahn(e) m, → Ahne f

forebear

[ˈfɔːˌbɛəʳ] nantenato/a
References in classic literature ?
Presently the willows parted on the other bank, and Robin could hardly forebear laughing out right.
It was in the dusk of Death's fluttery wings that Tarwater thus crouched, and, like his remote forebear, the child-man, went to myth-making, and sun-heroizing, himself hero-maker and the hero in quest of the immemorable treasure difficult of attainment.
And I have heard curses launched at the unstable element itself, whose fascination, outlasting the accumulated experience of ages, had captured him as it had captured the generations of his forebears.
Here, however, the resemblance ceases, for Whitman's forebears, while worthy country people of good descent, were not prominent in public or private life.
He had, in Castra Regis, a large collection of curious and interesting things formed in the past by his forebears, of similar tastes to his own.
But there are just a few little local patches, dying out here and there for lack of--well, hoeing and cross-fertilising: the last remnants of the old European tradition that your forebears brought with them.
Even the bravest of the brave among them are terrorized at the mere thought of deep water, for it has been ages since their forebears saw a lake, a river or a sea.
From this primitive function has arisen, unquestionably, all the forms and ceremonials of modern church and state, for through all the countless ages, back beyond the uttermost ramparts of a dawning humanity our fierce, hairy forebears danced out the rites of the Dum-Dum to the sound of their earthen drums, beneath the bright light of a tropical moon in the depth of a mighty jungle which stands unchanged today as it stood on that long forgotten night in the dim, unthinkable vistas of the long dead past when our first shaggy ancestor swung from a swaying bough and dropped lightly upon the soft turf of the first meeting place.
To me it was a revelation of the things my early forebears must have endured that the human race of the outer crust might survive.
The black, whipping out his knife, turned to do battle with this new enemy, while the Swede, lying in the bush, witnessed a duel, the like of which he had never dreamed to see--a half-naked white man battling with a half-naked black, hand to hand with the crude weapons of primeval man at first, and then with hands and teeth like the primordial brutes from whose loins their forebears sprung.
Doubtless in our own subjective minds lie many of the impressions and experiences of our forebears.
Through the hideous dangers that my forebears had endured in the earlier stages of their human evolution I fled; and always pursuing was the hairy monster that had discovered me.