dis·​in·​her·​it | \ ˌdis-in-ˈher-ət How to pronounce disinherit (audio) , -ˈhe-rət \
disinherited; disinheriting; disinherits

Definition of disinherit

transitive verb

1 : to prevent deliberately from inheriting something (as by making a will)
2 : to deprive of natural or human rights or of previously held special privileges

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Other Words from disinherit

disinheritance \ ˌdis-​in-​ˈher-​ə-​tən(t)s How to pronounce disinherit (audio) , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of disinherit in a Sentence

She threatened to disinherit her son and leave him penniless.
Recent Examples on the Web Crucially, Poe wrote his story in poverty in Baltimore after being disinherited by his wealthy stepfather and while his wife was dying of tuberculosis. Megan O’grady, New York Times, "What Can We Learn From the Art of Pandemics Past?," 8 Apr. 2020 Some insurers do just that, but most pay the beneficiaries after the first death, disinheriting the surviving spouse, says annuity expert and CFP Michael Kitces of Columbia, Maryland. Washington Post, "Liz Weston: How to mess up a variable annuity," 2 Aug. 2019 If Wallace and Klemmer were declared to be in violation and disinherited, their right as beneficiaries would skip them and go to their children. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos ownership dispute resumes after Pat Bowlen’s eldest daughters file petition to invalidate trust," 13 Sep. 2019 Jane’s son Edward was at best a useless boy-king, and at worst a divisive religious extremist who disinherited his sisters. Anne Thériault, Longreads, "Queens of Infamy: Anne Boleyn," 25 May 2018 According to court documents, Nupson’s mother considered disinheriting her because of her personal problems. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Phillies' co-owner John Middleton settles with sister for $22M," 26 Feb. 2018 As an only son, he was essentially disinherited from his mother’s legacy. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "This Artist Is Wearing His Mother’s Clothing to Promote Social Change in Ghana," 20 Oct. 2017 At the beginning, he had been reviled and disinherited by his harsh warrior father Randyll Tarly, who sent him to the Night's Watch where he was mocked and abused. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "John Bradley's Sam Tarly proves a different kind of hero on HBO's 'Game of Thrones'," 13 Aug. 2017 The rest of the verdict was for a series of moves through which Roberta Dickson essentially disinherited Shook. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, "Family feud: Mother uses bankruptcy to keep daughter from collecting $3.2M verdict," 26 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'disinherit.' 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 disinherit

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for disinherit

Middle English

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Time Traveler for disinherit

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The first known use of disinherit was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Disinherit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disinherit. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for disinherit



English Language Learners Definition of disinherit

: to prevent (someone, such as your daughter or son) from having the legal right to receive your money or property after you die


dis·​in·​her·​it | \ ˌdi-sᵊn-ˈher-ət How to pronounce disinherit (audio) \
disinherited; disinheriting

Kids Definition of disinherit

: to take away the legal right to receive money or property from at death The millionaire disinherited his son.


transitive verb
dis·​in·​her·​it | \ ˌdis-ᵊn-ˈher-ət How to pronounce disinherit (audio) \

Legal Definition of disinherit

: to prevent deliberately from inheriting something (as by making a will) — see also elective share

Other Words from disinherit

disinheritance \ -​ˈher-​ə-​təns How to pronounce disinherit (audio) \ noun

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