inherit

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

Definition of inherit

transitive verb

1a : 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 life — Matthew 19:29 (Revised Standard Version)

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 inherit (audio) , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ noun
inheritress \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​trəs How to pronounce inherit (audio) , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ or inheritrix \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​(ˌ)triks How to pronounce inherit (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 Now the Gold Package folks in Milwaukee can enjoy this tale of three adult sisters contending to see who will inherit their father's Packers tickets. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Sep. 2021 Thus, heirs who inherit appreciated assets will have that appreciation added to the tax basis so that a later sale will still not trigger gain (so long as there is no appreciation from date of death until the date of sale). Martin Shenkman, Forbes, 17 Sep. 2021 Harry’s place in the line of succession means the press feels freer to push the boundaries with his family, compared to the queen, and his father and brother who will one day inherit the crown, Bingham said. NBC News, 10 Mar. 2021 In particular, French President Emmanuel Macron, facing a re-election campaign next year, inspires too much mistrust, including in France, to inherit Merkel’s ability to guide combative European leaders toward agreement. Ian Bremmer, Time, 28 Sep. 2021 There were about 100 in 2014 named Thirza, a figure from the Book of Numbers from a passage dealing with when daughters inherit the possessions of their late father. Cnaan Liphshiz, sun-sentinel.com, 22 Sep. 2021 In the end, unlike Charlie Bucket, Maas opted not to inherit the candy factory, the Tribune reported. Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2021 Many of the accused are women, who typically marry young and are unable to inherit property. New York Times, 15 Sep. 2021 About to inherit his late father’s position and fortune, Hal tries to end their relationship, but when his attempt to cut ties backfires, disaster ensues. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 4 Sep. 2021

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 4

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

Time Traveler for inherit

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near inherit

inherent

inherit

inheritable

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for inherit

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inherit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inherit. Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

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
: 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 inherit (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

More from Merriam-Webster on inherit

Nglish: Translation of inherit for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inherit for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!