inheritance

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noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ə-tən(t)s, -ˈhe-rə-\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of inheritance

  1. 1a :  the act of inheriting propertyb :  the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspringc :  the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations

  2. 2 :  something that is or may be inherited

  3. 3a :  traditionb :  a valuable possession that is a common heritage from nature

  4. 4 obsolete :  possession

Examples of inheritance in a Sentence

  1. She began her own business with the inheritance she got from her grandfather.

  2. He left sizable inheritances to his children.

  3. The buildings are part of the city's architectural inheritance.

  4. the inheritance of an estate

  5. the inheritance of a genetic trait

Recent Examples of inheritance from the Web

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

First Known Use of inheritance

14th century

Other Genetics Terms


Financial Definition of INHERITANCE

inheritance

What It Is

An inheritance includes those assets of an estate that are bequeathed, in whole or in part, to specific heirs.

How It Works

The assets that comprise an estate are customarily transferred to individuals specified by name or relationship (e.g. "Howard Jones, III or "grandchild") in the will of the deceased. In the absence of a will, estate assets are transferred according to laws that protect the assets of the deceased (generally passing them to descendants in a specific order).  Once transferred, an inheritance is heavily taxed.

For example, Jim's estate is worth $10,000. His will specifies that his son and daughter each receive $5000. Following Jim's death, the son and daughter each receive $5000. This is their inheritance.

Why It Matters

An inheritance represents the material legacy an individual leaves behind after his deThe definition of inheritance on InvestingAnswersath. In addition to the family dynamics involved in the transfer of an inheritance, there are significant tax implications for the inheritors depending on their circumstances and on the value of assets received.


INHERITANCE Defined for English Language Learners

inheritance

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noun

Definition of inheritance for English Language Learners

  • : money, property, etc., that is received from someone when that person dies

  • : something from the past that is still important or valuable

  • : the act of inheriting something


INHERITANCE Defined for Kids

inheritance

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noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ə-təns\

Definition of inheritance for Students

  1. 1 :  the act of getting by legal right from a person at his or her death or through heredity

  2. 2 :  something gotten by legal right from a person at his or her death


Medical Dictionary

inheritance

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noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ət-ən(t)s\

Medical Definition of inheritance

  1. 1:  the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring

  2. 2:  all of the genetic characters or qualities transmitted from parent to offspring—compare genotype 2, phenotype


Law Dictionary

inheritance

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noun in·her·i·tance \in-ˈher-ə-təns\

Legal Definition of inheritance

  1. 1 :  the act of inheriting: as a :  the acquisition of real or personal property under the laws of intestacy or sometimes by will b :  the succession upon the death of an owner either by will or by operation of law to all the estate, rights, and liabilities of the decedent

  2. 2a :  something that is or may be inherited b :  something to which one is entitled as heir increasing the son's potential inheritance under [the] will — Lesnick v. Lesnick, 577 So. 2d 856 (1991)



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