inherit

verb
in·​her·​it | \ in-ˈher-ət How to pronounce inherit (audio) , -ˈhe-rət\
inherited; inheriting; inherits

Definition of inherit

transitive verb

1 : to come into possession of or receive especially as a right or divine portion and every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters … for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life — Matthew 19:29 (Revised Standard Version)
2a : to receive from an ancestor as a right or title descendible by law at the ancestor's death
b : to receive as a devise or legacy
3 : to receive from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission inherit a defective enzyme
4 : to have in turn or receive as if from an ancestor inherited the problem from his predecessor

intransitive verb

: to take or hold a possession or rights by inheritance

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from inherit

inheritor \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​tər How to pronounce inheritor (audio) , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ noun
inheritress \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​trəs How to pronounce inheritress (audio) , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ or inheritrix \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​(ˌ)triks How to pronounce inheritrix (audio) , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ noun

Examples of inherit in a Sentence

She inherited the family business from her father. Baldness is inherited from the mother's side of the family. She inherited her father's deep blue eyes. She inherited a love of baseball from her dad. When my brother left for college, I inherited his old computer. The company's new president will inherit some complicated legal problems. When the coach quit, her assistant inherited a last-place team.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The office of Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, who inherited the case, was asked to comment on the jury’s verdict. John R. Ellement, BostonGlobe.com, "Man acquitted of manslaughter in death of Robert ‘Bobby’ Mendes in 1995," 20 June 2019 Only the six states mentioned in the previous column — Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — have an inheritance tax, which is levied on the person who inherits. Liz Weston | Nerdwallet.com, oregonlive.com, "Liz Weston: Estate and inheritance taxes are not the same," 16 June 2019 Wyden, who inherited the store from her father, also held a press conference on the issue. Fox News, "New York bookstore clashes with de Blasio over historic landmark designation: 'It's really no honor'," 16 June 2019 Moreover, another friend of Hull’s, who initially inherited the photos and the rest of her estate, was was never told the photos showed Monroe pregnant by Montand’s baby. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "Did Marilyn Monroe get pregnant during secret affair with French co-star?," 10 June 2019 One of the most striking aspects of Leonardo’s originals is the handiwork left behind by those who inherited his creations. Claudia Kalb, National Geographic, "Explore Leonardo da Vinci works from Queen Elizabeth II's private collection," 14 May 2019 Mobley explains that the Queen takes the decision process of who inherits what jewels very personally, as one does with such an incredible jewelry collection. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Royal Heirloom Baby Sussex Will Inherit From the Queen, According to a Diamond Expert," 4 Apr. 2019 Maule in turn had learned the craft from Carluccio Negri, who inherited the business from his father, who founded it in 1897. Christopher Ross, WSJ, "The Hidden Valley in the Italian Alps Where Winemakers Are Working Against Nature," 15 Feb. 2019 Increasingly, those who had inherited white Protestant traditions defined themselves around racial and ethnic homogeneity, as cultural oppositions began to harden. Anti-immigrant witch hunts and lynch mobs ensued. Sarah Churchwell, The New York Review of Books, "America’s Original Identity Politics," 7 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inherit.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of inherit

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for inherit

Middle English enheriten "to give (a person) right of inheritance, make (a person) heir, come into possession of as an heir," borrowed from Anglo-French enheriter, going back to Late Latin inhērēditāre "to appoint as heir," from Latin in- in- entry 2 + Late Latin hērēditāre "to leave as an inheritance, inherit, make an heir" — more at heritage

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inherit

Statistics for inherit

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inherit

The first known use of inherit was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inherit

inherit

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inherit

: to receive (money, property, etc.) from someone when that person dies
biology : to have (a characteristic, disease, etc.) because of the genes that you get from your parents when you are born
: to get (a personal quality, interest, etc.) because of the influence or example of your parents or other relatives

inherit

verb
in·​her·​it | \ in-ˈher-ət How to pronounce inherit (audio) \
inherited; inheriting

Kids Definition of inherit

1 : to get by legal right from a person at his or her death
2 : to get by heredity I inherited red hair.

inherit

transitive verb
in·​her·​it | \ in-ˈher-ət How to pronounce inherit (audio) \

Medical Definition of inherit

: to receive from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission

Keep scrolling for more

inherit

verb
in·​her·​it | \ in-ˈher-it How to pronounce inherit (audio) \

Legal Definition of inherit

transitive verb

1 : to receive (property) from an estate by operation of the laws of intestacy broadly : to receive (property) either by will or through intestate succession
2 : succeed

intransitive verb

: to take or hold a possession or rights by inheritance

Other Words from inherit

inheritor \ in-​ˈher-​i-​tər How to pronounce inheritor (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for inherit

Middle French enheriter to make one an heir, from Late Latin inhereditare, from Latin in- in + hereditas inheritance

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on inherit

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inherit

Spanish Central: Translation of inherit

Nglish: Translation of inherit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inherit for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inherit

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

WORD OF THE DAY

showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!