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

Today, the Swedish royal family shared a video of Prince Carl Philip—younger brother of heir apparent, Princess Victoria, and the fourth in line for the throne—welcoming Christmas trees into the palace at Stockholm. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Royal Zaddy Prince Carl Philip of Sweden Gets Into the Holiday Spirit with His Adorable Baby," 17 Dec. 2018 Tomorrow, on his actual birthday, guests including Will and Kate and Meghan and Harry, along with members of other royal families from across Europe are expected to toast Britain's heir apparent at a banquet at Buckingham Palace. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Looks Lovely in a Polka-Dot Dress for Prince Charles's 70th Birthday Portraits," 13 Nov. 2018 The ruling by the Court of Cessation, Egypt's final recourse for appeals in criminal cases, dashed any hope that Gamal, Mubarak's younger son and one-time heir apparent, could run for public office. Hamza Hendawi, Fox News, "Egypt court upholds corruption conviction of Mubarak, sons," 22 Sep. 2018 Cissy trained her only daughter rigorously, grooming her heir apparent for success in the family trade. Graham Ambrose, BostonGlobe.com, "Darkness and light in Whitney Houston documentary," 4 July 2018 And the Saints don't have an heir apparent to Brees waiting in the wings. Tom Schad, USA TODAY, "Saints training camp questions: Does Drew Brees have right crew for Super Bowl run?," 28 June 2018 And the Giants, coming off a 3-13 season, had the chance to pick an heir apparent to 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "Browns Take Baker Mayfield No. 1 in NFL Draft Dominated by Quarterbacks," 26 Apr. 2018 The heir apparent turned 70 this month and, in April, Queen Elizabeth took steps to officially confirm Charles as her successor. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "A Royal Insider Explains Why the Queen Won't Abdicate—And Says It Has Something to Do with Princess Charlotte," 24 Nov. 2018 Alexandra was a Danish princess who, at 16, was chosen to be the wife of the Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The History Behind Kate Middleton’s Stunning State Banquet Jewels," 23 Oct. 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

18 Jan 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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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