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 But a Michigan family has its own heirloom – a 141-year-old fruitcake. USA TODAY, "Antique fruitcake, polite porch pirate, trashed beer: News from around our 50 states," 16 Dec. 2019 Those stories have been passed down like treasured heirlooms. Elaine Ayala, ExpressNews.com, "Ayala: Alameda promises to create new memories for new generations of San Antonians," 23 Jan. 2020 My mother, a practical woman who was often too consumed with managing our bakery to sit down for meals or bake a cake, marked special days by bringing out her heirloom Noritake 50-piece dining set. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "The forgotten pleasures of setting a table," 27 Nov. 2019 The Zoar Harvest Festival will be featured the last weekend in July, accommodating those who love original heirlooms and fine American artisans. Brenda Yenke, cleveland.com, "Zoar Harvest Fest delivers old world charm: Yenke Peddler antiques," 18 July 2019 In the rooms—named after local wildflowers, places, and people—antique furnishings sit beside family heirlooms and modern art. Serena Renner, National Geographic, "Road trip through the Irish countryside’s wild beauty," 12 Mar. 2019 Preparing to downsize into a smaller dwelling often means purging decades of stuff such as outdoor equipment, tools, collectibles, furniture, dishes, books, sporting goods, art, jewelry, furs, heirlooms and memorabilia. Jennifer Rude Klett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Plan ahead when downsizing for a smoother, happier transition to your new home," 16 Jan. 2020 Typically, laptops that pride themselves on being thin and light above all else tend to feel only a bit more durable than a precious heirloom that your kids aren't allowed to touch. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "HP Elite Dragonfly review: Luxurious, professional, expensive," 15 Dec. 2019 This marks the fifth time Kate has decided to wear the beloved heirloom for a royal affair. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Dons the Lover's Knot Tiara at the 2019 Diplomatic Reception," 11 Dec. 2019

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

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

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heirloom.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heirloom?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=heirlo01. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on heirloom

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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