birth·​right ˈbərth-ˌrīt How to pronounce birthright (audio)
: a right, privilege, or possession to which a person is entitled by birth

Examples of birthright in a Sentence

the freedom that is our birthright believed that the house was her birthright
Recent Examples on the Web Most candidates also now endorse ending the automatic granting of citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., known as birthright citizenship, a once-fringe idea that is considered unconstitutional by most legal scholars. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, 24 Aug. 2023 Enslaved people were not allowed to own property until constitutional amendments passed after the Civil War ending slavery and establishing birthright citizenship. Kimberly Kindy, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Aug. 2023 That’s going to grate on fan bases that view success as a birthright. Globe Staff,, 9 Aug. 2023 In some cases, dual citizenship is permitted up to a certain age, often around 21 years old, and in others, dual citizenship is only permitted by birthright, not by other means such as investing. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 2 Aug. 2023 Some of the settlements are home to religious Zionists who believe that the area is their biblical birthright. Isabel Kershner, New York Times, 29 June 2023 In anticipation of the Supreme Court ban on affirmative action, such birthright preferences have come under increasing scrutiny as an unfair advantage that rewards predominately white applicants. Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2023 In June, DeSantis, who has touted his recent signing of a strict state immigration law on the campaign trail, also pledged to end birthright citizenship. Camilo Montoya-Galvez, CBS News, 4 Aug. 2023 In May, Trump vowed to sign an executive order on his first day in office blocking federal agencies from allowing birthright citizenship as currently interpreted. Breccan F. Thies, Washington Examiner, 25 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'birthright.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1535, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of birthright was in 1535

Dictionary Entries Near birthright

Cite this Entry

“Birthright.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


birth·​right -ˌrīt How to pronounce birthright (audio)
: a right or possession that a person is entitled to by birth

More from Merriam-Webster on birthright

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