heir apparent

plural heirs apparent

Definition of heir apparent

1 : an heir whose right to an inheritance is indefeasible except by exclusion under a valid will if he or she survives the ancestor
3 : one whose succession especially to a position or role appears certain under existing circumstances

Examples of heir apparent in a Sentence

The coach named her assistant as her heir apparent.

Recent Examples on the Web

The bureau had set out to find a chief operating officer, a new post whose occupant would have been Moscaritolo’s heir apparent. Shirley Leung, BostonGlobe.com, "Tourism board will try again after inept search for leader," 17 Apr. 2018 The next year, after Prince Mohammed became heir apparent to the Saudi throne, the outreach to Israel intensified. Summer Said, WSJ, "Covert Saudi Outreach to Israel Sputters After Journalist’s Murder," 18 Dec. 2018 Leonor, heir apparent to the Spanish throne, recently gave her first public speech as a royal. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Spanish Royals Look Gorgeous in Their 2018 Family Christmas Card," 13 Dec. 2018 Jordan is part of a cohort of wry, emotionally honest female indie rock artists, and has been anointed in some quarters as Phair’s heir apparent. Allison P. Davis, The Cut, "Snail Mail Can Control Her Feelings and Yours, Too," 20 June 2018 Remember, Wojciech Szczesny is still on the roster and he was first considered Buffon's heir apparent. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "Teams arrive in Russia, Vieira leaves NYCFC and the best of the soccer weekend," 10 June 2018 Many investors saw the deal as engineered for the benefit of the heir apparent, said Mr. Chung, who isn’t related to Hyundai’s Chung family. Eun-young Jeong, WSJ, "Hyundai Car-Parts Affiliate Calls Off Deal Opposed by U.S. Hedge Fund," 21 May 2018 Jackson’s other visits included a stop in New Orleans, where the Saints are also looking for Drew Brees' heir apparent. Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY, "Lamar Jackson talks about Patriots visit, says Bill Belichick 'cool, laid back'," 25 Apr. 2018 With Matt Patricia, New England’s defensive coordinator since 2012, having officially been named head coach of the Detroit Lions, McDaniels’s decision to stay with the Patriots makes him the closest thing the team has to an heir apparent. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, "Josh McDaniels Will Stay With Patriots After Spurning Colts," 6 Feb. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near heir apparent



heir apparency

heir apparent

heir at law



Statistics for heir apparent

Last Updated

12 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for heir apparent

The first known use of heir apparent was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for heir apparent

heir apparent


English Language Learners Definition of heir apparent

: an heir whose right to receive money, property, or a title cannot be taken away
: a person who is very likely to have a job or position after the person who has it now leaves

heir apparent

Legal Definition of heir apparent

see heir

More from Merriam-Webster on heir apparent

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heir apparent

Comments on heir apparent

What made you want to look up heir apparent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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