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

Presented by the East Town Association, the free street festival, which runs Thursday through Sunday in and around Cathedral Square Park, pays tribute to Milwaukee's French heritage. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bastille Days is back Thursday, but the geography's shifted due to streetcar testing," 10 July 2018 The Baltimore artist’s heritage, which includes having a Mexican-American mother, may be reflected in the vivid colors found throughout the show and also in the shrine-evocative installation that occupies much of the floor space. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Artist gets metaphysical at Columbia Art Center," 6 July 2018 Council, who writes about her Southern food heritage, hosts biscuits pop-ups around Atlanta. Kathleen Purvis, charlotteobserver, "5 of the biggest names in Southern cooking head to Charlotte for a special weekend," 2 July 2018 In 2012, Warren's Native American heritage was a frequent sparring point of Republican Sen. Scott Brown. Christina Capatides, CBS News, ""Real Indian" running against Sen. Elizabeth Warren defends sign calling her "Fake Indian"," 24 Apr. 2018 One addition that sets the menu apart is contained in a box titled Cucina Ebraica featuring five dishes that are reflective of Nayfeld’s Jewish-Italian heritage. Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, "Che Fico lives up to hype as most anticipated newcomer," 8 June 2018 Perhaps because his father was an African immigrant, his black heritage free from the agonies of slavery. Peter Godwin, WSJ, "Mandela’s Troubled Legacy," 13 July 2018 In order to reconnect people with their heritage and reclaim music as the art of the people, teaching people to make their own nay is a very important step. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Crespo also found out that alongside his Italian heritage, his blood also consisted of North and West European DNA as well as Iberian DNA, in proportions of 17.6% and 48.7% respectively. SI.com, "Serie A Legend Discovers Why He Always Felt So at Home in Italy," 13 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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Last Updated

7 Nov 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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by force of circumstances

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