Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "progenitor" [pro•gen•i•tor]

  • A direct ancestor. See Synonyms at ancestor. (noun)
  • An originator of a line of descent; a precursor. (noun)
  • An originator; a founder: progenitors of the new music. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "progenitor" in a sentence
  • "Another obvious literary progenitor is Cormac McCarthy: Reading "Smonk" conjured up the memory of murderous necrophile Lester Ballard from McCarthy's "Child of God.""
  • "The progenitor is a crook named Armen Boladian who forged George Clinton's signature on an assignment of copyright and has now become a one-man lawsuit factory who threatens legal action against the entire hip-hop world (avid Clinton samplers) unless they pay him tribute."
  • "Male pattern baldness: A decline in activity by a special type of stem cell, known as a progenitor cell, found in human hair follicles appears to be responsible for male pattern baldness, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation."