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[air-is] /ˈɛər ɪs/
a woman who inherits or has a right of inheritance, especially a woman who has inherited or will inherit considerable wealth.
Origin of heiress
First recorded in 1650-60; heir + -ess
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for heiress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A man sent me this morning a copy of verses to the heiress of Bannow.

  • It is not often that the heiress of a million or thereabouts is quite so readily disposed of.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
  • I s'pose he wasn't going to take any chances of losing his heiress.

    The Mystery of Murray Davenport Robert Neilson Stephens
  • Heathcroft evidently had not told her of the Warwickshire heiress.

    Kent Knowles: Quahaug Joseph C. Lincoln
  • My brother is a rich man, and my daughter may be his heiress.

    Melomaniacs James Huneker
British Dictionary definitions for heiress


a woman who inherits or expects to inherit great wealth
(property law) a female heir
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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Word Origin and History for heiress

1650s, from heir + -ess.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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