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

Lakers and Knicks fans, global armies of millions who basically believe winning is their birthright, were also convinced. Candace Buckner,, "Nets, Clippers won free agency, but most important to their fans, Knicks, Lakers didn’t," 12 July 2019 One’s name and face are what some people might call a birthright. Sally Jenkins,, "Commentary: NCAA President Mark Emmert is the lord of a feudal state who knows its time is over," 25 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 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 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 While the Queen treats her birthright as an honor, her eldest son appears to feel perpetually hard done by it. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Royal Romance," 11 May 2018 Edgar loses everything—his identity, his comfort, his birthright—but wins it back in an act of extraordinary perseverance and valor. David Yezzi, WSJ, "‘Lear: The Great Image of Authority’ Review: A Master Class in Tragedy," 20 Apr. 2018 Robbed of his homeland as a baby, and of his father as an adolescent, Erik’s story is about the theft of his own birthright as both a member of the Wakandan royalty and an African man. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Black Panther Review: Every Great Superhero Needs an Even Better Supervillain," 16 Feb. 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

25 Aug 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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