heirloom

noun
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

Princess Diana broke from tradition and chose not to wear one of the Queen's tiaras, instead wearing an heirloom from her family—the Spencer Tiara. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie's Wedding Tiara Was Her Something Borrowed," 12 Oct. 2018 There’s a deliberate imperfection to many of these things, old and new, that gives them an heirloom feel. Douglas Brenner, House Beautiful, "Bill Shakespeare Would Be Proud To Live In This House," 5 Oct. 2018 Bull's Blood is an heirloom with gorgeous dark maroon-red leaves that provide a great splash of color for salads. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Beets This Fall for a Hearty Autumn Harvest," 21 Aug. 2018 Some family members have lost everything: heirlooms, their houses, clothing. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Getting around the Bay Area with Chanell Fletcher," 21 Dec. 2018 Dinner is almost always meat and vegetables, no gluten, only heirloom grains and little to no dairy. Sean Brock, Bon Appetit, "Sean Brock on How Sobriety Changed the Way He Cooks," 3 Apr. 2018 The irony to all this is that the Russet Burbank, named after Luther Burbank, who developed the variety more than a century ago, is far from an heirloom, hard-to-find potato. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Shedding Light on the Perfect Potato for Hanukkah Latkes," 2 Dec. 2018 Getty Images According to French newspaper Le Parisian, police in Paris opened an investigation this week into the theft of a heirloom ring belonging to Countess Olympia von Arco-Zinneberg. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "A 40-Carat Diamond Once Belonging to Empress Eugenie Was Stolen In Paris," 5 Apr. 2019 Topping 2 to 3 heirloom carrots 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon green onions, sliced 3 cloves garlic, roasted and diced 1 tablespoon olive oil Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Nancy Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Ciao Ristorante is Italian food with the ultimate Sicilian twist," 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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Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for heirloom

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

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More Definitions for heirloom

heirloom

noun

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

heirloom

noun
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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More from Merriam-Webster on heirloom

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heirloom

Spanish Central: Translation of heirloom

Nglish: Translation of heirloom for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heirloom

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