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

Photo: Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York From her abiding pain and her heritage, Kahlo crafts the unique identity that inspired her art. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving’ Review: Searching for the Artist," 9 Feb. 2019 Harley's move triggered a slew of angry tweets from Trump, who scolded the company, revered by many for its American heritage, for shifting production overseas. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Harley-Davidson motorcycles are classic Americana made with foreign-sourced parts," 28 June 2018 Much of his childhood and early playing days were shaped by spectators and opponents who would mock his heritage, to which Zidane would react angrily. Matias Grez, CNN, "France's 'Rainbow Team' look backs at historic World Cup triumph," 8 June 2018 Local Artist Emily Costello Emily Costello had always been proud of her Mexican heritage, its cultural icons and imagery. Brian Sodoma, azcentral, "Local artist taps Mexican heritage for Lottery Scratchers® ticket designs," 22 May 2018 Try a taste of tradition with Ruth’s famous Crème Brûlée—a nod to their Louisiana-French heritage—or a more modern twist on dessert with the Chocolate Duo. Ruth's Chris Steak House, Bon Appetit, "How a New Orleans Staple Became a Worldwide Steak House Icon," 14 May 2018 With celebrations starting Friday in Beijing, China is making the bicentennial part of a drive to reinvigorate its communist heritage, and underpin its growing global clout. Bloomberg.com, "Look Who's Picking Up the Tab for Karl Marx's Birthday Bash," 4 May 2018 There was the gymnast whose floor routine was an homage to her Greek heritage, and another who tragically fractured her neck and was left partially paralyzed after an accident at practice. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "True Michigan State fans should want the school to accept responsibility for its horrific failures," 26 Apr. 2018 For example, families with a Polish heritage fill a basket containing eggs, ham, bread, sweet breads, horseradish, and lamb cakes or butter lambs. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "What Is Holy Saturday, the Day Before Easter, and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 1 Mar. 2019

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

11 Apr 2019

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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 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

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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

Comments on heritage

What made you want to look up heritage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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