Definition of heirloom
2 : something of special value handed down from one generation to another The pin she's wearing is a family heirloom.
3 : 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
Recent Examples of heirloom from the Web
Lawton’s Antiques Roadshow Receive a general history appraisal of an antique, collectible, jewelry or heirloom from John Caplan Harris of Caplan’s Auction Company.
Those tortilla makers use only heirloom corn from Mexico.
The people who buy heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods, like the consumers who wear Stewart + Brown sweaters, aren't just buying a product.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heirloom'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of heirloom
Middle English heirlome, from heir + lome implement — more at loom
First Known Use: 15th century
HEIRLOOM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of heirloom for English Language Learners
: a valuable object that is owned by a family for many years and passed from one generation to another
: an old type of plant that is still available because individual people have continued to grow it for many years
HEIRLOOM Defined for Kids
Definition of heirloom for Students
: a piece of personal property handed down in a family from one generation to another
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up heirloom? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).