birth·​right | \ ˈbərth-ˌrīt How to pronounce birthright (audio) \

Definition of birthright

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

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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

During his time in Virginia public office, Cuccinelli fought against birthright citizenship, supported legislation mandating employees speak English in the workplace, and compared immigration enforcement to fighting a rat infestation. Tovin Lapan, Fortune, "Why Trump's USCIS Pick Might Be His Most Controversial Yet," 21 June 2019 Matters of inheritance and heritage are at the core of many functions of the state, from birthright citizenship to Native American ancestry to matters of probate. Karin Wulf, Smithsonian, "This Long-Ignored Document, Written by George Washington, Lays Bare the Legal Power of Geneaology," 18 June 2019 We’re told in ways both overt and subtle that emotional labor is our birthright. Gemma Hartley, Quartz, "This is the real reason women are “control freaks”," 18 June 2019 The State Department appealed that decision in May. The department insists a married U.S. citizen must have a biological connection to their child to pass on birthright citizenship, according to Immigration Equality. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "New push to recognize U.S. citizenship of boy whose twin is already a citizen," 7 June 2019 John knew ordinary Americans understood each of us has a duty to defend, integrity, dignity and birthright of every child. Megan Friedman, Town & Country, "Joe Biden Gave an Incredibly Powerful Speech at John McCain’s Memorial," 30 Aug. 2018 For white men across the Western world, special rights and privileges once came as a birthright. New York Times, "On Social Media’s Fringes, Growing Extremism Targets Women," 9 May 2018 Overall, 65% of Americans said birthright citizenship should continue, including 90% of Clinton voters. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "The Wall Marks a Deep Cultural Divide," 21 Jan. 2019 And lucky for Arthur, Mera feels the same way, giving up her highborn birthright to marry ornery Orm, and choosing instead to travel with Arthur to the Sahara Desert and Sicily to find clues regarding the whereabouts of the super trident. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman goes for broke and lands somewhere between overstuffed marine opera and cheesy comic book fun," 11 Dec. 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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Statistics for birthright

Last Updated

30 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce birthright (audio) \

Kids Definition of birthright

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

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Comments on birthright

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


to complain fretfully

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