her·​i·​tage ˈher-ə-tij How to pronounce heritage (audio)
: property that descends to an heir
: something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor : legacy, inheritance
proud of her Chinese heritage
a rich heritage of folklore
The battlefields are part of our heritage and should be preserved.
: tradition
the party's heritage of secularism
: something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth : birthright
the heritage of natural freedom was long since cast awayV. L. Parrington

Examples of heritage in a Sentence

hospitality is a cherished Southern heritage this farm is my heritage from my father, as it was for him from his father
Recent Examples on the Web Illinois and Wisconsin boast a rich heritage, with a blend of historical landmarks and modern innovations. Allen Buchanan, Orange County Register, 1 June 2024 Just like Miami’s diverse population, Butler, a Temple University graduate, has both local roots and a Panamanian heritage. Michael Butler, Miami Herald, 31 May 2024 One of my great joys is sharing the works with the public who may not have had the opportunity to see works by African heritage artists from all over the world. J.m. Banks, Kansas City Star, 30 May 2024 Executive Chef Graham House and Chef de Cuisine Sean McMullen source hyperlocal ingredients and celebrate the area's rich culinary heritage. Carrie Honaker, Travel + Leisure, 29 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for heritage 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heritage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English heritage, eritage, borrowed from Anglo-French, from heriter "to inherit, make an heir" (going back to Late Latin hērēditāre "to leave as an inheritance, inherit, make an heir," from Latin hērēd-, hērēs heir entry 1 + -itāre, verb suffix) + -age -age

Note: The Latin verb suffix -itāre normally has repetitive or frequentative value (cf. hesitate, meditate, palpitate), not factitive or causative value, so in this instance it may be of distinct origin. A possible model is the adjective hērēditārius (see hereditary), in the formation of which a stem hērēdit- appears to have been extracted from the noun hērēditāt-, hērēditās "succession to an heir, inheritance," by construing the suffix as -āt-, -ās (or, alternatively, *hērēditātārius was shortened by haplology to hērēditārius).

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of heritage was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near heritage

Cite this Entry

“Heritage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heritage. Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


her·​i·​tage ˈher-ət-ij How to pronounce heritage (audio)
: property that is handed down to an heir
: something acquired from the past
a rich heritage of folklore

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