forebear

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Related to forbears: forebears

forebear

ancestor; forefather; progenitor: My forbears came over on the Mayflower.
Not to be confused with:
forbear – refrain or abstain from; to forgo: I’ll forbear the dessert, thank you.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree

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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

forebear

(ˈfɔːˌbɛə) or

forbear

n
an ancestor; forefather
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

fore•bear

for•bear

(ˈfɔrˌbɛər, ˈfoʊr-)

n.
ancestor; forefather.
[1425–75; Middle English (Scots) =fore- fore- + -bear being, variant of beer]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

forebear

noun ancestor, father, predecessor, forerunner, forefather, progenitor I'll come back to the land of my forebears.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002

forebear

noun
A person from whom one is descended:
Archaic: predecessor.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Translations

forebear

[ˈfɔːrbɛər] nancêtre m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

forebear

1
n (form)Vorfahr(in) m(f), → Ahn(e) m, → Ahne f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007

forebear

[ˈfɔːˌbɛəʳ] nantenato/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995
References in classic literature ?
.signifying renewal as well as change for I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forbears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.
And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe.
Little Walter's father was a kindly Scots lawyer, but he came of a good old Border family, "A hardy race who never shrunk from war."* Among his forbears had been wild moss-troopers and cattle-reivers, lairds of their own lands, as powerful as kings in their own countryside.
At other times Walter listened to the stories of his grandmother, hearing all about the wild doings of his forbears, or the brave deeds of Bruce and Wallace.
Miller, I had indeed to go campaigning before, but I was barbed from counter to tail, and a man went along to groom me; and now I cannot understand what ailed me to prefer the mill before the battle." "Forbear," said the Miller to him, "harping on what was of yore, for it is the common lot of mortals to sustain the ups and downs of fortune."
But I forbear to dwell any longer on a matter which has hitherto worn too loose a garb to admit even of an accurate inspection of its real shape or tendency.
It has been very properly observed by different speakers and writers on the side of the Constitution, that if the exercise of the power of internal taxation by the Union should be discovered on experiment to be really inconvenient, the federal government may then forbear the use of it, and have recourse to requisitions in its stead.
Some forbear it, not upon negligence alone, but doubting to bring themselves into melancholy, in respect they shall find it broken.
Miss Bridget did not, however, suffer her to continue long in this doubtful situation; for having looked some time earnestly at the child, as it lay asleep in the lap of Mrs Deborah, the good lady could not forbear giving it a hearty kiss, at the same time declaring herself wonderfully pleased with its beauty and innocence.
He mentioned it in a very artful manner at council, where I was told that some of the wisest appeared, at least by their silence, to be of my opinion; but others, who were my secret enemies, could not forbear some expressions which, by a side-wind, reflected on me.
At last Robin could no longer forbear, and his good right arm swung round like a flash.
It is not easy to forbear reflecting with how little reason these men profess themselves the followers of Jesus, who left this great characteristic to His disciples, that they should be known by loving one another, by universal and unbounded charity and benevolence.