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2017 Word of the Year

heir apparent

noun, plural heirs apparent.
1.
an heir whose right is indefeasible, provided he or she survives the ancestor.
2.
a person whose succession to a position appears certain:
His popularity makes him the chief's heir apparent.
Origin of heir apparent
1325-1375
Middle English word dating back to 1325-75
Related forms
heir apparency, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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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.

    Gycia

    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
1.
(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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Nearby words for heir apparent

Word Value for heir

7
6
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