birth·right | \ ˈbərth-ˌrīt \

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

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 In the 1970s, oil company CEOs suddenly became public figures and struggled to find a message that would redeem them in the eyes of Americans outraged that cheap gasoline, once considered almost a birthright, was history. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Butch Granville Steered Texaco Through Oil-Market Turmoil in the 1970s," 25 May 2018 France is one of those countries that views a prolonged run in the world’s biggest tournaments as its birthright. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Croatia Eyes the Greatest Upset in World Cup History," 13 July 2018 Ballot initiatives, the voters’ power to write laws on election day, are considered by many Californians to be a political birthright. John Myers,, "As major reform of California's initiative process nears its anniversary, the record is mixed," 24 June 2018 In 1868, Ohio and New Jersey rescinded approval for the 14th Amendment, which expanded birthright citizenship and equal protection of the law. Robinson Woodward-burns, Washington Post, "The Equal Rights Amendment is one state from ratification. Now what?," 20 June 2018 As the roadway was built over subsequent years, the path, a months-long journey that wound through 13 states, would firmly establish the idea of a coast-to-coast network of roadways as an American birthright. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "10 Streets that Changed America," 5 July 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

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for birthright

The first known use of birthright was in 1535

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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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