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noun \ˈer\

: a person who has the legal right to receive the property of someone who dies

: a person who has the right to become a king or queen or to claim a title when the person holding it dies

Full Definition of HEIR

:  one who inherits or is entitled to inherit property
:  one who inherits or is entitled to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office <heir to the throne>
:  one who receives or is entitled to receive some endowment or quality from a parent or predecessor
heir·less \-ləs\ adjective
heir·ship \-ˌship\ noun

Examples of HEIR

  1. His heirs could inherit millions of dollars.
  2. The king left no heirs when he died.

Origin of HEIR

Middle English, from Anglo-French eir, heir, from Latin hered-, heres; akin to Greek chēros bereaved
First Known Use: 13th century

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi



Definition of HEIR

transitive verb
chiefly dialect
:  inherit

First Known Use of HEIR

14th century
HEIR Defined for Kids


noun \ˈer\

Definition of HEIR for Kids

:  a person who inherits or has the right to inherit property after the death of its owner
:  a person who has legal claim to a title or a throne when the person holding it dies

Headscratcher for HEIR

Since an heir inherits, you might expect heir to sound like the -her- in inherit. Instead, heir sounds like air.
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