English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English forefader, forfader, vorvader, from Old English fōrefæder (forefather), but possibly also merged with Old Norse forfaðir. Equivalent to fore- +‎ father. Compare Dutch voorvader (forefather), German Vorvater, Vorfahr (forefather), Danish forfader (forefather), Swedish förfader (forefather).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

forefather (plural forefathers)

  1. ancestor
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter II, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      His forefathers had been, as a rule, professional men—physicians and lawyers; his grandfather died under the walls of Chapultepec Castle while twisting a tourniquet for a cursing dragoon; an uncle remained indefinitely at Malvern Hill; an only brother at Montauk Point having sickened in the trenches before Santiago.
  2. cultural ancestor; one who originated an idea or tradition.

Translations edit