Forefather Fore"fa`ther (?; 277), n. One who precedes another in the line of genealogy in any degree, but usually in a remote degree; an ancestor. [1913 Webster]

Respecting your forefathers, you would have been taught to respect yourselves. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

{Forefathers' Day}, the anniversary of the day (December 21) on which the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts (1620). On account of a mistake in reckoning the change from Old Style to New Style, it has generally been celebrated on the 22d. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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  • forefather — (n.) ancestor, c.1300, from FORE (Cf. fore ) + FATHER (Cf. father) (n.); perhaps directly from O.N. forfaðir …   Etymology dictionary

  • forefather — forebear, progenitor, *ancestor …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • forefather — [n] ancestor antecedent, ascendant, forebearer, patriarch, precursor, predecessor, primogenitor, procreator, progenitor; concept 414 …   New thesaurus

  • forefather — (or foremother) ► NOUN ▪ an ancestor …   English terms dictionary

  • forefather — [fôr′fä΄thər] n. [ME forefader: see FORE & FATHER] an ancestor …   English World dictionary

  • forefather — noun Date: 14th century 1. ancestor 1a 2. a person of an earlier period and common heritage …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • forefather — forefatherly, adj. /fawr fah dheuhr, fohr /, n. an ancestor. [1250 1300; ME forefader. See FORE , FATHER] Syn. forebear, progenitor, patriarch, forerunner. * * * …   Universalium

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