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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The researchers conclude that the first mammals already had this bewildering trait, with millennia of descendants thereafter inheriting the family jewels on full display. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "The Earliest Mammals Kept Their Cool With Descended Testicles," 28 June 2018 What more indefatigable enemy is there than the family tree, the idea that one’s worst nightmares have been inherited and are doomed to recur from generation to generation? David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Close-to-Home Horror of Hereditary," 7 June 2018 Nolan inherits a Naperville North varsity that won 51 games the previous two seasons, including the DuPage Valley Conference title in 2017-18. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "'It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life': Gene Nolan leaves Marist for Naperville North," 24 May 2018 Russia, which inherited the old USSR’s Arctic frontier, still maintains approximately 134 MiG-31s, with at least 70 updated to a newer standard. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russia Resumes Fighter Patrols Over the North Pole," 6 Feb. 2019 But the cruel twist is that, like musical ability or inherited wealth, wine teeth are not distributed equally among the population. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Here is why you look like a vampire.," 18 Dec. 2018 This is why Josh Heupel inherits the toughest coaching job in America. Mike Bianchi, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Finebaum: If UCF runs table again, he’s ‘all-in’ on national championship claims," 12 July 2018 Both have settled into spaces that have been neighborhood bars for decades, which has helped the owners avoid the cost of building a spot from scratch; the Slide Bar also inherited a grandfathered-in liquor license. Emeline Posner, Chicago Reader, "One City Tap and Slide Bar prove there’s still a future for the south-side neighborhood bar," 21 June 2018 His hair was black, but his pale skin, inherited from his Polish father, never tanned. Longreads, "The Cold War and its Fallout," 16 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for inherit

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inherit

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

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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

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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

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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

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