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[her-i-tij] /ˈhɛr ɪ tɪdʒ/
something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition:
a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage.
something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion:
a heritage of poverty and suffering.
something reserved for one:
the heritage of the righteous.
  1. something that has been or may be inherited by legal descent or succession.
  2. any property, especially land, that devolves by right of inheritance.
noting or relating to a product, place, etc., that evokes a nostalgic sense of tradition or history:
visitors to a heritage site in the Middle East.
noting or relating to an older, traditional breed of animal or plant:
raising pure-breed heritage hogs.
Compare heirloom (def 3).
Origin of heritage
1175-1225; Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to heriter to inherit + -age -age; see heir
2. estate, patrimony. See inheritance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for heritage
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this way the just heritage of "our own kind" was preserved for us.

    Hilaire Belloc C. Creighton Mandell
  • We shall not hand down to our children this heritage of calamity.

    The Spirit of Lafayette James Mott Hallowell
  • I knew then that woman's heritage of sorrow was mine, and that my heart followed you into Polar night.

    A Speckled Bird Augusta J. Evans Wilson
  • He could not enter again into the heritage of boyhood and the heart of youth.

  • Each of them was annoyed to find that in the scramble for the heritage some one had been before them.

    Lessons of the War Spenser Wilkinson
British Dictionary definitions for heritage


something inherited at birth, such as personal characteristics, status, and possessions
anything that has been transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition
  1. the evidence of the past, such as historical sites, buildings, and the unspoilt natural environment, considered collectively as the inheritance of present-day society
  2. (as modifier; cap. as part of name): Bannockburn Heritage Centre
something that is reserved for a particular person or group or the outcome of an action, way of life, etc: the sea was their heritage, the heritage of violence
(law) any property, esp land, that by law has descended or may descend to an heir
  1. the Israelites regarded as belonging inalienably to God
  2. the land of Canaan regarded as God's gift to the Israelites
Word Origin
C13: from Old French; see 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 heritage

c.1200, "that which may be inherited," from Old French iritage, eritage, heritage, from heriter "inherit," from Late Latin hereditare, ultimately from Latin heres (genitive heredis) "heir" (see heredity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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