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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·bearalso for·bear (fôr′bâr′)
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.
an ancestor; forefather
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
[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.
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|Noun||1.||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.
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
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.
forebear[ˈfɔːrbɛər] n → ancêtre m
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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] n → antenato/a
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995