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 apparently she's inherited her disposition too, by the looks of it. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Lopez’s Boyfriend Alex Rodriguez Is Already Close With Her Daughter Emme," 27 Dec. 2018 Dukedoms can only be inherited by male heirs, People reports. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Royal Titles Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Kids Have?," 15 Oct. 2018 In Warren’s case, 95 percent of her DNA has likely been inherited from European ancestors. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test can and can’t teach us about ancestry," 15 Oct. 2018 Ultimately the parents’ lack of moral compass is inherited by both sons, and so ends the lesson. Toby Zinman, Philly.com, "London Theater: 'Prudes' and 'Instructions for Correct Assembly' at the Royal Court," 6 May 2018 The mutations can be inherited from a mother or a father, and passed down to daughters and sons. Soumya Karlamangla, latimes.com, "Not quite healthy, not quite sick, women at risk of hereditary cancer can 'fall through the medical cracks'," 8 Apr. 2018 But for now, the two spots in Monday’s national championship game shall be inherited by the juggernauts with the giant bounding German and the merciless long-range sharpshooters who never miss. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Madness ends, and inevitability prevails," 31 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, everyone knows that whoever wins the nomination is destined to inherit an anti-Trump resistance movement that’s already large and well-organized and demonstrated its enormous grassroots fundraising potential in the 2018 midterms. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The comically large 2020 Democratic field, explained," 17 Dec. 2018 For years, the Prince of Wales was seen as stuffy and impatient to inherit the throne. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The Ultimate Guide to the Royal Family," 18 Nov. 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

3 Feb 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 \
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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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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