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

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 But Larry’s third daughter, Caroline, has her doubts—an attitude that infuriates him and leads to his decision to disinherit her. Dinitia Smith, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Political differences are also not a reason to disinherit a child. Christine Fletcher, Forbes, 28 June 2021 Her life of exile—her father would disinherit her—took her to New York, Europe, Montreal and finally, in a semi-homecoming, North Carolina. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 28 May 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 25 May 2018 According to court documents, Nupson’s mother considered disinheriting her because of her personal problems. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, 26 Feb. 2018 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Disinherit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disinherit. Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for disinherit


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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