inheritance

noun
in·​her·​i·​tance | \ in-ˈher-ə-tən(t)s How to pronounce inheritance (audio) , -ˈhe-rə- \

Definition of inheritance

1 : something that is or may be inherited
2a : the act of inheriting property
b : the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring
c : the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations
3a : tradition
b : a valuable possession that is a common heritage from nature
4 obsolete : possession

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Examples of inheritance in a Sentence

She began her own business with the inheritance she got from her grandfather. He left sizable inheritances to his children. The buildings are part of the city's architectural inheritance. the inheritance of an estate the inheritance of a genetic trait
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Recent Examples on the Web Bill had to share the inheritance with his estranged nieces and nephews. Christine Fletcher, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Meanwhile, Mary Trump, the president's niece, has accused him and his siblings of cheating her out of millions of dollars in inheritance while squeezing them out of the family business. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 19 May 2021 The first is preprogrammed by inheritance, and the second learns its task after birth. Maryn Mckenna, Wired, 26 Apr. 2021 The German government, noting Sybille’s Jewish descent, cut her off from the inheritance that had supported her. Madeleine Schwartz, The New Yorker, 29 Mar. 2021 Get this right and get us back out there spending our children's inheritance. Star Tribune, 24 Feb. 2021 Children often feel entitled to inheritance, while friends often earn it. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 21 Feb. 2021 Children often feel entitled to inheritance, while friends often earn it. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, 21 Feb. 2021 Lambert and Case also offered a more personal reason for the choice of how to spend some of their inheritance. Star Tribune, 6 May 2021

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.

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First Known Use of inheritance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for inheritance

Middle English enheritaunce, borrowed from Anglo-French enheritance, from enheriter "to give (a person) right of inheritance, inherit" + -ance -ance

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Learn More About inheritance

Time Traveler for inheritance

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inheritance

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inheritance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inheritance. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for inheritance

inheritance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of inheritance

: 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

noun
in·​her·​i·​tance | \ in-ˈher-ə-təns How to pronounce inheritance (audio) \

Kids Definition of inheritance

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

inheritance

noun
in·​her·​i·​tance | \ in-ˈher-ət-ən(t)s How to pronounce inheritance (audio) \

Medical Definition of inheritance

1 : the reception of genetic qualities by transmission from parent to offspring
2 : all of the genetic characters or qualities transmitted from parent to offspring — compare genotype sense 2, phenotype

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inheritance

noun
in·​her·​i·​tance | \ in-ˈher-ə-təns How to pronounce inheritance (audio) \

Legal Definition of inheritance

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
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] willLesnick v. Lesnick, 577 So. 2d 856 (1991)

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