heritage

noun her·i·tage \ ˈher-ə-tij , ˈhe-rə- \
|Updated on: 18 Jul 2018

Definition of heritage

1 : property that descends to an heir
2 a : 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

  1. hospitality is a cherished Southern heritage

  2. this farm is my heritage from my father, as it was for him from his father

Recent Examples of heritage from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1heir + -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).


HERITAGE Defined for English Language Learners

heritage

Definition of heritage for English Language Learners

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


HERITAGE Defined for Kids

heritage

noun her·i·tage \ ˈher-ə-tij \

Definition of heritage for Students

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


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