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

Many of the songs that early hillbilly artists played were likewise inherited and adapted from black sources — like slave spirituals, field songs, religious hymnals or the works of professional black songwriters. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Black Artists Built Country Music—And Then It Left Them Behind," 11 Sep. 2019 Get our daily newsletter Mr Macri inherited an economy in disarray but initially won the confidence of Wall Street. The Economist, "Argentina’s beleaguered government imposes capital controls," 2 Sep. 2019 Outlook: Belin, an assistant for the past two seasons, takes over for longtime head coach Traci Davis and inherits a team that should be as good as any in the metro area. Rich Scherr, baltimoresun.com, "2019 Baltimore-area field hockey preseason Top 15 poll," 30 Aug. 2019 The researchers said thousands more genetic variants likely are involved and interact with factors that aren't inherited, but that none of them cause the behavior nor can predict whether someone will be gay. Lindsey Tanner, Anchorage Daily News, "Genetics linked to same-sex behavior, but there is no ‘gay gene,’ huge study indicates," 29 Aug. 2019 Growing up in Taipei, Taiwan, Chang had a natural gift for drawing and inherited a love of nature from her mother. Dallas News, "In Plano artist Jenney Chang's brush paintings, East and West come together," 19 Aug. 2019 Her mother was afflicted with PKD, and Schmook’s brother also inherited it and undergoes dialysis. Beth Mlady, cleveland.com, "Middleburg City Hall co-workers unite in quest for kidney," 29 July 2019 As the system of slavery was established during the 17th century, perpetual inherited unfreedom gradually became the exclusive fate of Africans and their descendants. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 MacIntyre inherits eight starters but will move them into a 3-4 alignment. Edgar Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 43 Ole Miss pushes to win despite key departures," 13 July 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 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

15 Sep 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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