heir·​loom ˈer-ˌlüm How to pronounce heirloom (audio)
: a piece of property (such as a deed or charter) that descends to the heir as an inseparable part of an inheritance of real property
: something of special value handed down from one generation to another
The pin she's wearing is a family heirloom.
: a variety of plant that has originated under cultivation and that has survived for several generations usually due to the efforts of private individuals
heirloom tomatoes

Examples of heirloom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Edwards suggests heirloom grains, rare spices, and artisan cheeses. Melanie Fincher, Southern Living, 17 Nov. 2023 Welcome to the era where listening skills are as golden as your grandma’s heirloom jewelry. Chris Kille, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Use yellow-orange heirloom tomatoes from the farmer's market (or your garden) for the best flavor. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, 4 Nov. 2023 Best of all, this album becomes a time capsule and an heirloom to pass down. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, 25 Oct. 2023 The interior design was done by Misha Cooper, who outfitted the space with the homeowners’ pieces and heirlooms along with new furnishings. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 11 Oct. 2023 Dutch ovens from Le Creuset are known for their beautiful colors and heirloom quality. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 5 Oct. 2023 Readers Respond Last week’s question was from a woman who wanted to sell a family heirloom she’d been gifted. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 4 Oct. 2023 Bloody Scary Whirl 1 large heirloom tomato (8 oz., chopped) in a blender until smooth. Sunset Staff, Sunset Magazine, 25 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English ayre lome, heyr lome, from ayre, heyr heir entry 1 + lome "implement" — more at loom entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of heirloom was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near heirloom

Cite this Entry

“Heirloom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heirloom. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


heir·​loom ˈa(ə)r-ˌlüm How to pronounce heirloom (audio)
: a piece of personal property handed down from generation to generation
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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