her·​i·​tage | \ ˈher-ə-tij How to pronounce heritage (audio) , ˈhe-rə- \

Essential Meaning of heritage

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

Full 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

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 This boutique hotel preserves an atmosphere of the Montparnasse area’s artistic heritage with heavy art deco decor and lots of wood paneling and leather. Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2022 With a focus on rigor and experiential learning, the University capitalizes on its size, location, and heritage to develop the whole person, both inside and outside the classroom. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, 7 Jan. 2022 L’Oréal has the longest hair coloration heritage, dominating the $10 billion dollar industry. Sharon Edelson, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, perhaps the world’s most significant ongoing collaboration to preserve irreplaceable artifacts, artworks, sites and heritage, really got its start with the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Lonnie G. Bunch Iii, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Jan. 2022 Through the Hattiesburg Alliance for Public Art, the city has added whimsical, thought-provoking, and colorful art that touches topics like women's suffrage, sports, wildlife, civil rights, and the city's rock & roll heritage. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 3 Jan. 2022 Tribes around the country have moved in recent years to trim their membership rolls, scrutinizing family trees and cutting out those deemed to have tenuous or insufficient ties to tribal heritage in an effort to strengthen tribal identity. Mike Baker, New York Times, 2 Jan. 2022 They were turned away at the Majestic Theatre and denied an apartment because of her husband’s heritage. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 27 Dec. 2021 Nearly half of the state's population claims Hispanic heritage, and some students in Garcia's class — but not all — recognize the Spanish words in Anaya's book. Morgan Lee, USA TODAY, 26 Dec. 2021

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

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Last Updated

11 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Heritage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heritage. Accessed 16 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for heritage


her·​i·​tage | \ ˈher-ə-tij How to pronounce heritage (audio) \

Kids Definition of heritage

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

More from Merriam-Webster on heritage

Nglish: Translation of heritage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of heritage for Arabic Speakers


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