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progenitor Syllabification: pro·gen·i·tor
Pronunciation: /prōˈjenədər/

Definition of progenitor in English:


1A person or thing from which a person, animal, or plant is descended or originates; an ancestor or parent: his sons and daughters were the progenitors of many of Scotland’s leading noble families
More example sentences
  • Boxes represent extant groups and their ancestral progenitors.
  • For example, the unicellular progenitors of plants underwent an important evolutionary step following the establishment of a second endosymbiotic relationship, resulting in the evolution of the plastid.
  • The domestication of plants from their wild progenitors has led to the production of a wide variety of crops that share a number of traits.
1.1A person who originates an artistic, political, or intellectual movement: the progenitor of modern jazz
More example sentences
  • Both international law and domestic legal norms in the Christian world had roots in an accepted morality and in natural law, and had common intellectual progenitors (including Grotius, Locke, Vattel).
  • Instead, she bestows a life and a self on modernity that seems to be independent of politics or its intellectual progenitors, and can therefore be whatever the author wants.
  • The record, and the subsequent Live Aid concerts, yoked the two men together as blood-oath crusaders against the famine in Ethiopia, the progenitors of popular culture's most decisive intervention into global politics.


Late Middle English: from Old French progeniteur, from Latin progenitor, from progenit- 'begotten', from the verb progignere, from pro- 'forward' + gignere 'beget'.



Pronunciation: /-ˌjenəˈtôrēəl/

Words that rhyme with progenitor

primogenitor, senator

Definition of progenitor in:

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