her·​i·​ot ˈher-ē-ət How to pronounce heriot (audio)
: a feudal duty or tribute due under English law to a lord on the death of a tenant

Word History


Middle English heriet, heriette, heriot, going back to Old English heregeatwe "arms and gear of a soldier, payment due to a lord on the death of a retainer (originally, at least notionally, arms given a retainer by the lord and hence returned to him)," from here "body of armed men" + geatwe "trappings, adornments," probably reduced form of getāwa "apparatus, implements," collective noun derivative of tāwian "to prepare, make" — more at harry, taw entry 1

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heriot was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near heriot

Cite this Entry

“Heriot.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heriot. Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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