late 14c., from Anglo-French progenitour (mid-14c.), Old French progeniteur (14c.) and directly from Latin progenitor "ancestor, the founder of a family," agent noun from progenitus, past participle of progignere "beget," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + gignere "to produce, beget" (from PIE root *gene- "give birth, beget"). Related: Progenitive; progenital; progenitrix (c. 1600).
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