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heir apparent

noun, plural heirs apparent.
an heir whose right is indefeasible, provided he or she survives the ancestor.
a person whose succession to a position appears certain:
His popularity makes him the chief's heir apparent.
Origin of heir apparent
Middle English word dating back to 1325-75
Related forms
heir apparency, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heir apparent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why, hear ye, my masters: Was it for me to kill the heir apparent?

  • The New Dominant was only heir presumptive then, or heir apparent but not obvious.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • While but an heir apparent he could live his own life and take his pleasure as he liked.

    A Girl of the Commune George Alfred Henty
  • A marriage of the heir apparent is a very serious affair, let me tell you.


    Lewis Morris
  • This last power is not sure, because the dispositions of its heir apparent are not sure.

British Dictionary definitions for heir apparent

heir apparent

noun (pl) heirs apparent
(property law) a person whose right to succeed to certain property cannot be defeated, provided such person survives his ancestor Compare heir presumptive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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