birth·​right | \ˈbərth-ˌrīt \

Definition of birthright 

: a right, privilege, or possession to which a person is entitled by birth

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Synonyms for birthright


appanage (also apanage), prerogative, right

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Examples of birthright in a Sentence

the freedom that is our birthright believed that the house was her birthright

Recent Examples on the Web

Irish citizens voted 79% to 21% to end birthright citizenship in a 2004 referendum. Dave Seminara, WSJ, "Constitutional Ways to Curb ‘Birth Tourism’," 11 Nov. 2018 Despite claims by Trump, at least 30 countries offer birthright citizenship, including Canada and almost every country in Central and South America. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Plan to Revoke Birthright Citizenship Is Another Attack on Immigrants," 30 Oct. 2018 Black activists promoted birthright as the standard by which their belonging should be measured. Martha S. Jones, Time, "How the 14th Amendment's Promise of Birthright Citizenship Redefined America," 9 July 2018 Not all the wrinkles work, including a subplot involving a young nephew (Nicholas Braun) who is essentially cast in the role of minnow among the sharks, trying to claim a piece of his birthright. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Succession' spins media dynasty into juicy HBO drama," 31 May 2018 Just by birthright, men are on top of the world and the head of the family. Isabelle Khurshudyan, Washington Post, "Why Russia’s #MeToo moment hasn’t happened," 28 Feb. 2018 An outsider’s appropriation or the artist’s birthright? Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Costume & Custom: Middle Eastern Threads at Olana’ Review: A Painter’s Souvenir Closet," 2 July 2018 For this great convenience, Amazon can now pretty much gull every mayor in America into selling their schools, transportation systems, birthrights, etc. Nikil Saval, New York Times, "The Fate of Most Silicon Valley Drones: ‘Live Work Work Work Die’," 25 May 2018 Entire generations had grown up here considering soccer glory a birthright, a reflection of Italian creativity. Chico Harlan, Washington Post, "The strange, sad mood in Italy as the national team misses the World Cup for the first time in 60 years," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'birthright.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of birthright

1535, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for birthright

The first known use of birthright was in 1535

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More Definitions for birthright



English Language Learners Definition of birthright

: a right that you have because you were born into a particular position, family, place, etc., or because it is a right of all people


birth·​right | \ˈbərth-ˌrīt \

Kids Definition of birthright

: a right belonging to a person because of his or her birth

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