heir apparent


plural heirs apparent
: an heir whose right to an inheritance is indefeasible except by exclusion under a valid will if he or she survives the ancestor
: 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 show follows Catherine’s journey as a teenager to meet Prince Arthur, the heir apparent of the King of England, whom she has been betrothed to as a child in a political deal that promises to bring peace between Spain and England. Cady Lang, TIME, 16 May 2024 The message was clear: Holliday was the heir apparent to Orioles’ royalty. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 20 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for heir apparent 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heir apparent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near heir apparent

Cite this Entry

“Heir apparent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heir%20apparent. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

heir apparent

plural heirs apparent
: an heir whose right to succeed (as to a throne) cannot be taken away if he or she outlives the present holder

Legal Definition

heir apparent

see heir

More from Merriam-Webster on heir apparent

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!