her·i·tage | \ ˈher-ə-tij , ˈhe-rə- \

Definition of heritage 

1 : property that descends to an heir

2a : 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.

b : tradition the party's heritage of secularism

3 : something possessed as a result of one's natural situation or birth : birthright the heritage of natural freedom was long since cast away —V. L. Parrington

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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

Each stop highlights a town’s history and heritage from an 1876 hardware store in Blue Island to a 1950s roller rink in Markham. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Southland family honors dad's memory by driving his ashes down Dixie Highway in convoy of Plymouth Prowlers," 12 July 2018 Storms, who presented a state proclamation to the group, said an office display is dedicated to Windsor Locks history and heritage. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Students Make Donation Toward Train Station Renewal," 26 June 2018 In fact, two of the primary plaintiffs chosen by the ACLU for their class-action suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement are also of Congolese heritage: a mother and daughter who came to the U.S. seeking asylum last year. Shamira Ibrahim, Daily Intelligencer, "Patricia Okoumou and the Threat to Black Immigrants," 13 July 2018 Working outward from her Omaha base at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Puleo drew together works by three-dozen regional artists – principally of Native American and Hispanic heritage – and created in response to contemporary events. George Fishman, miamiherald, "Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events," 13 July 2018 Who to meet Charlotte’s newest mermaid: Last week, painter Sharon Dowell wrapped up a 10- by 90-foot mural featuring a mermaid of Mexican heritage with tattoos that represent historical and current businesses in the South End district. charlotteobserver, "What’s up this week in Charlotte’s visual arts?," 10 July 2018 Hartford’s Union Station — a center of transportation in the city for 130 years — could hold on to a bit of that heritage even if the rail line is moved as part of the massive I-84 reconstruction project. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Courant Community, "Hartford's Union Station May Be Used By CTfastrak Under Redevelopment Plan," 9 July 2018 However, the Belgian minister in charge of archaeological heritage recognized that meant cutting through what had once been one of the liveliest sections of the Western Front. Nick Stockton, WIRED, "Laser-Shooting Planes Uncover the Horror and Humanity of World War I," 9 July 2018 Since the Spanish constitution protects bullfights as part of the nation's cultural heritage, new regulations usually aim at turning them into blood-free shows, banning any torment to the bull. Aritz Parra, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Macho' Spanish bull festival feels heat from #MeToo, animal rights activists," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heritage.' 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 heritage

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heritage

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).

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Statistics for heritage

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for heritage

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

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More Definitions for heritage



English Language Learners Definition of heritage

: the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation


her·i·tage | \ ˈher-ə-tij \

Kids Definition of heritage

: the traditions, achievements, and beliefs that are part of the history of a group of people

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More from Merriam-Webster on heritage

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for heritage

Spanish Central: Translation of heritage

Nglish: Translation of heritage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heritage for Arabic Speakers

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alleviating pain or harshness

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