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

The spare bedroom returns to the theme of Danish heritage with photos, artifacts and family furniture. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Floating Sausalito museum celebrates Denmark, old San Francisco and Jimmy Carter," 31 Aug. 2019 That has led many world leaders and environmentalists to see the Amazon as an invaluable piece of world heritage that must be zealously conserved. New York Times, "Amid Outrage Over Rainforest Fires, Many in the Amazon Remain Defiant," 26 Aug. 2019 To compete more effectively in this new landscape, United Launch Alliance is phasing out its use of heritage Delta and Atlas rockets in favor of a new Vulcan-Centaur rocket. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The last single-stick Delta rocket launched Thursday, and it put on a show," 22 Aug. 2019 In front of a crowd of Native American activists, Warren apologized publicly for the first time for seeking a DNA test to back up her claims of Native American heritage. Ed O'keefe, CBS News, "Elizabeth Warren publicly apologizes for first time over controversial DNA test," 19 Aug. 2019 As a player of unusual heritage for the NBA who was undrafted out of Harvard, Lin had plenty of doubt to overcome. Des Bieler, The Denver Post, "Jeremy Lin is an NBA champion, but he’s embarrassed he didn’t really earn it," 29 July 2019 Who wouldn't want the music that is their heritage to get the attention? Brian Mccollum, Freep.com, "Revealing the White Stripes: The inside story of the early years," 24 July 2019 As a result, a vast wealth of previously unknown heritage was unearthed, ranging from Stone Age artifacts to a ninth-century church decorated with murals. Esther Pons, National Geographic, "Epic engineering rescued colossal ancient Egyptian temples from floodwaters," 17 July 2019 Festa Italiana, Milwaukee's annual celebration of Italian heritage, fills the lakefront's Maier Festival Park with sights, sounds and smells Friday through Sunday. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "10 things to see, do and eat at Festa Italiana in 2019," 15 July 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

12 Sep 2019

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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 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

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to spread over or through

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