Definition of forebear in English:

forebear

(also forbear)

noun

usually one's forebears
  • An ancestor.

    ‘generations of his forebears had lived in London’
    • ‘One cannot hope to rise or succeed in the world unless one's forebears had the requisite abilities.’
    • ‘It does not really take very much time over a family lunch to begin to enquire about one's forebears.’
    • ‘I'm sorry, your forebears must have lived in a parallel universe to mine. Is this the Victorian age of the Little Match Girl?’
    • ‘No longer do young people absorb information about their forebears from grandparents.’
    • ‘But a congregation of Christian believers are not able to use it and love it as the holy space that it was for generations of their forebears.’
    • ‘What the Council might have said more explicitly is that their forebears are also our forebears.’
    • ‘We must erect a national monument to our forebears who lived and died in U.S. slavery.’
    • ‘As a child, I heard the stories from my father about our notable forebear, an honest man who was saved from a massacre, the sole survivor.’
    • ‘Many of his forebears had colonial ties and his father spent his career in India.’
    • ‘Present generations need to know about their forebears, he said.’
    • ‘But their forebears were, generations ago, driven from this area by European settlers.’
    • ‘Gilbert and George were the forebears of an artistic generation that holds everything to be ironic.’
    • ‘In this, they are deploying a weapon their forebears did not have.’
    • ‘These tales are filled with the blood and tears of my forebears.’
    • ‘Your personality, life course and career will have no necessary relation to that of your forebear.’
    • ‘A small estate winery, located west of St. Catharines on 80 acres of land first deeded to family forebear in 1794.’
    • ‘We think our readers will be surprised and encouraged to discover that the forebear of fundamentalism was a true Baptist guided by historic convictions.’
    • ‘My forebear was, according to the family account, very depressed when his teeth started falling out when he was in late middle age.’
    • ‘I know by my family history that a forebear of mine turned on the gods of Mother India and professed faith to the One True God.’
    ancestor, forefather, predecessor, progenitor, father, grandfather, parent, grandparent
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 15th century from fore + bear, variant of obsolete beer ‘someone who exists’ (from be+ -er).

Pronunciation

forebear

/ˈfɔːbɛː/