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

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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 Warren seems to have unfairly inherited some of the hallmarks of Hillary Clinton's reputation. Kathleen Walsh, TheWeek, "The sidelining of Elizabeth Warren," 12 Feb. 2020 But Americans with annual income of less than $50,000 can be expected, perhaps not surprisingly, to inherit a much more modest $62,000. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Is America's low estate tax to blame for wealth inequality?," 29 Jan. 2020 Prosecutors said the woman wanted to inherit the money. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Woman who poisoned husband with eye drops get 25 years in prison," 17 Jan. 2020 Some differences are more likely to be inherited together in some populations. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Superior pinpoints racism in science: Naive scientists plus strategic racists," 4 Jan. 2020 Last, and very much least, in the opinion of the surviving Thrombeys, is Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s nurse, who is distraught at his passing—more so than his relatives, whose grief is assuaged by the fortune that they hunger to inherit. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Pastiche and Politics in “Knives Out”," 22 Nov. 2019 Think it through: Which Americans are hitting their prime earning years right now, starting to inherit the vast wealth of their parents, and getting serious about managing their investments? Chris Taylor, Fortune, "Saved by Zero: Why Brokerage Firms Are Obsessed With ’80s Songs in Their Commercials," 12 Nov. 2019 And Harry and William are both known to have inherited money from their late mother, Princess Diana, and from the Queen Mother. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Royal Family Makes a Lot More Money Than You Think," 9 Nov. 2019 The aim is for the offspring of those mice to inherit that immunity. Ashley Braun, Longreads, "Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves," 24 Oct. 2019

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 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

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Time Traveler for inherit

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for inherit

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inherit.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inherit. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for inherit

inherit

verb
How to pronounce inherit (audio)

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.
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

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

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