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

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 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

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

6 Oct 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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