I feel like there must be a word for this.

Like the relationship between me and my grandpa. We are related. But I would like to be more specific. We are related in such a way that he is my ancestor.

I would like to say 'John and Paul are x', where x would mean that one is the ancestor of the other — a word like related, but more specific.

  • 2
    Either your question isn't clear or you already answered it yourself. :) Your grandpa is your grandpa or grandfather. He's also your ancestor. What else are you looking for?
    – R Mac
    Nov 10 '14 at 16:21
  • 5
    You're descended from him; you're his descendant Nov 10 '14 at 16:25
  • @R Mac I would like to say 'John and Paul are x' where x would mean than one is the ancestor of the other. A word like related, but more specific.
    – Skuli
    Nov 10 '14 at 16:26
  • @Skuli John and Paul are father and son? John and Paul are grandfather and grandson? John and Paul are uncle and nephew?
    – WS2
    Nov 10 '14 at 16:34

You might be looking for directly related or lineally descended or some variation thereof (lineage, for example).

direct adj. definition 2b:
being or passing in a straight line of descent from parent to offspring : lineal
<direct ancestor>

lineal adj.
having a direct family relationship : related by a direct series of parents and children

All links/quotes are from Merriam-Webster.

So, for you example of "John and Paul are x", x could be "directly related" or "lineally related" or "of the same lineage". I think directly related would be the most easily understood, though to be 100% clear, I'd actually phrase it like "John is a direct descendant of Paul" (or "Paul is a direct ancestor of John"). Lineally does actually have precisely the definition you want, but it's not a commonly-used word, and while most people could figure out its meaning based on "line", to a math person like me, it always at first looks like a misspelling of linearly. :)


You may wish to say that you and your grandfather are lineally related, that is, “By direct descent”. From en.wiktionary, lineal means “(family) Of a family relationship that includes mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, and sons, etc. as opposed to collateral”.

  • 1
    Great minds think alike...
    – Marthaª
    Nov 10 '14 at 16:45

I think what you are looking for is a hypernym for ancestor and descendant.

One possibility is "consanguine" meaning related by blood, having a common ancestor.

John and Paul are consanguine.

This word the is perhaps broader than you are looking for since it includes non lineal descendants like cousins. But it is an option worth considering depending on your exact needs.

  • I think your first sentence is right - that is what is requested. But consanguine is, as you indicate in your explanation of it, more general. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt have a consanguine relation, but neither is an ancestor of the other.
    – Drew
    Nov 11 '14 at 6:03

You could say there is a family relationship or blood relationship. E.g. "He is my blood relative; she is not."

You could use kinship or consanguinity, but in many contexts I think it would sound rather archaic.

  • All of these terms also apply to siblings, but as I interpret it, the question wants to exclude siblings. Nov 10 '14 at 18:03

John and Paul are father and son.

John and Paul are grandfather and grandson.

John and Paul are uncle and nephew.

Matilda and Lucy are mother and daughter.

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