inherit

verb

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

transitive verb

1
a
: 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
2
: to receive from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission
inherit a defective enzyme
3
: to have in turn or receive as if from an ancestor
inherited the problem from his predecessor
4
: 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 lifeMatthew 19:29 (Revised Standard Version)

intransitive verb

: to take or hold a possession or rights by inheritance
inheritor
in-ˈher-ə-tər How to pronounce inherit (audio)
-ˈhe-rə-
noun
inheritress
in-ˈher-ə-trəs How to pronounce inherit (audio)
-ˈhe-rə-
noun
or inheritrix

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.
Recent Examples on the Web But Starmer — who is scheduled to meet Biden at the White House on Wednesday — inherited an economy showing the strains of more than a decade of political tumult, inadequate business investment and sclerotic government planning. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 10 July 2024 And whatever team trades for him inherits the exact same situation: a player who wants a $200 million contract extension. David Faris, Newsweek, 10 July 2024 Despite being set to inherit a fortune, Navarro looks determined to make her own name and has a chance to do exactly that at this year’s Wimbledon. Ben Church, CNN, 8 July 2024 And our ability to regulate our emotions is generally thought to be about 60% inherited. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 8 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for inherit 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inherit.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

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

Dictionary Entries Near inherit

Cite this Entry

“Inherit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inherit. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

inherit

verb
in·​her·​it in-ˈher-ət How to pronounce inherit (audio)
1
: to receive by legal right from a person at the person's death
2
: to receive by genetic transmission
inherit red hair
3
: to have handed on to one by someone else
inherit a job
inheritable
-ət-ə-bəl
adjective
inheritor noun

Medical Definition

inherit

transitive verb
in·​her·​it in-ˈher-ət How to pronounce inherit (audio)
: to receive from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission

Legal Definition

inherit

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

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

intransitive verb

: to take or hold a possession or rights by inheritance
inheritor noun
Etymology

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

More from Merriam-Webster on inherit

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