inherit

verb
in·​her·​it | \in-ˈher-ət, -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 , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ noun
inheritress \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​trəs , -​ˈhe-​rə-​ \ or inheritrix \ in-​ˈher-​ə-​(ˌ)triks , -​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

And even the meekest can inherit the earthly title of champion or near-champion. The Christian Science Monitor, "Why this World Cup final is like no other," 13 July 2018 The trouble is, human civilization has inherited ideas about being active and passive, especially from theistic medieval philosophy. Timothy Morton, The Atlantic, "The Hurricane in My Backyard," 8 July 2018 Fisher inherits some talented pieces, like big-play running back Trayveon Williams and sophomore wide receiver Jhamon Ausbon. Chris Johnson, SI.com, "First-Year Outlooks for the SEC's Six New Head Coaches in 2018," 6 July 2018 Livreri inherits a Boise State program on the rise. Michael Lycklama, idahostatesman, "New Boise State softball coach ‘can take this program to the next level’," 5 July 2018 However, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, inherited the family’s love of the game. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "The Role the British Royal Family Serves at Wimbledon," 3 July 2018 O'Connor inherits an Orlando City SC side that's 6-9-1 in league play and just two points out of the Eastern Conference playoff spots. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "See you in MLS: Louisville City FC coach James O'Connor bound for Orlando City SC," 29 June 2018 When the cell divides, one of its daughter cells inherits that one mutant mitochondrion. Carl Zimmer, STAT, "Shot through with microbes: How our bodies adapt to a hidden world of bacteria," 30 May 2018 This backward motion goes against the fundamental counterclockwise spin our solar system inherited from more than 4.5 billion years ago, when our star and its planets first coalesced from a whirling disk of gas and dust. Lee Billings, Scientific American, "Astronomers Spot Potential "Interstellar" Asteroid Orbiting Backward around the Sun," 21 May 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

10 Nov 2018

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 \
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 \

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 \

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 \ 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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Comments on inherit

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