heir·​loom | \ ˈer-ˌlüm How to pronounce heirloom (audio) \

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 The hope was that cataloguing and propagating those heirloom varieties could help develop food sources more able to survive a warmer, drier planet than single-variety crops. Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times, "Amigo Bob Cantisano, a towering figure in the West Coast’s organic farming movement, dies at 69," 29 Dec. 2020 Club members receive quarterly shipments of the Napa company’s heirloom beans, grown locally or sourced directly from small-scale farmers in Mexico. San Francisco Chronicle, "Food lovers’ holiday gift guide," 24 Nov. 2020 Their heirloom beans, many from small Mexican villages where the seeds are revered like old family recipes, are a hit with upscale restaurants and a mail-order clientele. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (November 22): The Food Issue," 19 Nov. 2020 This purveyor of heirloom beans and other products are championed by the likes of Thomas Keller, and a 1 pound bag of beans – pintos, garbanzos, red beans and much more – costs just $5.95. Chris Macias, SFChronicle.com, "A full day wine tasting in Napa for less than $20 — it’s possible," 24 July 2018 Acurio International, the restaurant group that owns La Mar and 53 other restaurants around the world, is centering the menu around a charcoal grill, where the heirloom and pasture-raised chickens will be cooked. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Acclaimed La Mar team is opening a charcoal-grilled Peruvian chicken restaurant in S.F.," 7 Jan. 2021 His legacy lives in the state’s rich landscape, from pesticide-free vineyards in Napa to rescued heirloom fruit and nut trees in the Sierra foothills. Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times, "Amigo Bob Cantisano, a towering figure in the West Coast’s organic farming movement, dies at 69," 29 Dec. 2020 The understated metalwork has just the right amount of flash, the wood is lovely, and the overall attention to detail makes this an heirloom-quality firearm. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, "Outdoor Life Editors’ Holiday Gift Guide," 20 Nov. 2020 From the finest heirloom garnishes to the surprising layers of flavors — hello, black garlic ice cream with wagyu tartare! Beth D'addono, NOLA.com, "Going Global: Worldly flavors at The Chloe," 21 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for heirloom

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

25 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heirloom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heirloom. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for heirloom


How to pronounce heirloom (audio)

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
US : an old type of plant that is still available because individual people have continued to grow it for many years


heir·​loom | \ ˈer-ˌlüm How to pronounce heirloom (audio) \

Kids Definition of heirloom

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

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