heir·loom | \ ˈer-ˌlüm \

Definition of heirloom 

1 : 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

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

Examples of heirloom in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Amazing heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn are in their prime and take main stage on our menu. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville chefs re-imagine menus when you're just too hot to eat," 3 July 2018 Luscious heirloom tomatoes over milky sweet burrata are a snowbird’s delight in winter. Craig Laban, Philly.com, "Orlando's best dining thrills are outside the parks," 22 June 2018 Rosenthal’s order: pani puri, butter chicken, Afghani seekh kabob, Frankie Indian street wrap, Malai chicken tikka Frankie Indian street wrap, papadum and chutneys, heirloom tomato and caramelized pineapple salad and Goan prawn masala. Jenn Harris, latimes.com, "Phil Rosenthal's L.A. food crawl: Six spots to try," 29 June 2018 The museum holds treasures and family heirlooms of many of the town’s founders. Amy Aumick, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Explore Florida's Union County: The draw of Lake Butler," 15 May 2018 His interest in law enforcement stems back to his eighth-grade class when his home was burglarized and many family heirlooms were stolen and never recovered. Community Report, Houston Chronicle, "Hobson named LCSO employee of the month," 6 May 2018 The fur, pearls, trunk and binoculus are family heirlooms passed down from Prahova's own grandmother. Diana Bruk, Woman's Day, "These Are The Most Adorable 'Downton Abbey'-Inspired Photos EVER," 27 Feb. 2015 Other families pass down jewelry or antique furniture, but for the Yeager clan, the holy triumvirates of family heirlooms are root starts of asparagus, horseradish, and rhubarb. Jeff Yeager, Good Housekeeping, "8 Perennial Vegetables Anyone Can Grow," 21 Mar. 2011 There, she’s created several cocktails including the Tomato Margarita with heirloom tomatoes, The Lilly Pad Libation and Azul Mule, her spin on a Moscow mule made with blueberries, mint and lime juice. Grace Palmieri, azcentral, "16 Arizona distillers, brewers, bartenders and others helping us drink smarter," 3 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of heirloom

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heirloom

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

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Statistics for heirloom

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for heirloom

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

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English Language Learners Definition of heirloom

: 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


heir·loom | \ ˈer-ˌlüm \

Kids Definition of heirloom

: a piece of personal property handed down in a family from one generation to another

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an open space surrounded by woods

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