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1. A woman ancestor.
2. A woman who is from an earlier time and has originated or contributed to a common tradition shared by a particular group.
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.


(Sociology) a female ancestor
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈfɔrˌmʌð ər, ˈfoʊr-)

a female ancestor.
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.foremother - a woman ancestor
ancestor, antecedent, ascendant, ascendent, root - someone from whom you are descended (but usually more remote than a grandparent)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
References in classic literature ?
My strain has remained clearer than the rest because for countless ages my foremothers were high priestesses--the sacred office descends from mother to daughter.
Instead of being the youngest of the family, it rather seemed to have aggregated into itself the ages, not only of these living specimens of the breed, but of all its forefathers and foremothers, whose united excellences and oddities were squeezed into its little body.
Though her own writing is now less well-known, Lane undeniably served as an intellectual foremother to a foundational generation of mid-century libertarian educators and activists.
Inspiring Woman or Girl: Amna Al Haddad, teen weightlifter from the United Arab Emirates; pirate queen Grace O'Malley; and American foremother Eliza Hamilton.
God, I felt you had designed them purposely for me, as you had once forged my foremother. Felt a tug of primordial hunger.
Kadin does, however, refer to OBOS as the "feminist foremother" of this amazing new resource for trans people and their allies.
"In Memoriam: Karen Dandurand, Founder and Foremother." By Nicole Tonkovich.
Even those deeply opposed to the doctrine that has now come to be known as neo- liberalism would have a hard time denying its ubiquitous presence, and Mrs T played ideological foremother to Ronald Reagan in achieving this; no mean feat.
Carol Margaret Davison laments the fact that Gilbert and Gubar ignore Ann Radcliffe, for in her view the gothic novelist is "unarguably the principal foremother of Gilbert & Gubar's theoretical paradigm" (209).
Another minor concern is that of genealogy: while in the French context George Sand (1804-1876) is properly invoked as a foremother, the earliest Italian foremother cited is Sibilla Aleramo (1876-1960).
I can just see our foremother suffragists, many of whom were also abolitionists, beaming from war to ear at the thought that the foundation they laid for an inclusive, representative electorate has evolved to this momentous point.
Sappho as foremother takes her place alongside others: the speaker's biological mother Carmen; literary "mothers" Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, May Swenson and (yes!) Walt Whitman.