Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

inheritance

play
noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ə-tən(t)s, -ˈhe-rə-\

Simple Definition of inheritance

  • : money, property, etc., that is received from someone when that person dies

  • : something from the past that is still important or valuable

  • : the act of inheriting something

Full Definition of inheritance

  1. 1 a :  the act of inheriting property b :  the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring c :  the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations

  2. 2 :  something that is or may be inherited

  3. 3 a :  tradition b :  a valuable possession that is a common heritage from nature

  4. 4 obsolete :  possession

Examples of inheritance

  1. She began her own business with the inheritance she got from her grandfather.

  2. He left sizable inheritances to his children.

  3. The buildings are part of the city's architectural inheritance.

  4. the inheritance of an estate

  5. the inheritance of a genetic trait



14th Century

First Known Use of inheritance

14th century

Other Genetics Terms


INHERITANCE Defined for Kids

inheritance

play
noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ə-təns\

Definition of inheritance

  1. 1 :  the act of getting by legal right from a person at his or her death or through heredity

  2. 2 :  something gotten by legal right from a person at his or her death




Medical Dictionary

inheritance

play
noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ət-ən(t)s\

Medical Definition of inheritance

  1. 1:  the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring

  2. 2:  all of the genetic characters or qualities transmitted from parent to offspring—compare genotype 2, phenotype





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up inheritance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

pince-nez duvet kittly-benders spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ