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[in-her-it] /ɪnˈhɛr ɪt/
verb (used with object)
to take or receive (property, a right, a title, etc.) by succession or will, as an heir:
to inherit the family business.
to receive as if by succession from predecessors:
the problems the new government inherited from its predecessors.
to receive (a genetic character) by the transmission of hereditary factors.
to succeed (a person) as heir.
to receive as one's portion; come into possession of:
to inherit his brother's old clothes.
verb (used without object)
to take or receive property or the like by virtue of being heir to it.
to receive qualities, powers, duties, etc., as by inheritance (followed by from).
to have succession as heir.
Origin of inherit
1275-1325; Middle English en(h)erit(i)en < Middle French enheriter < Late Latin inhērēditāre to make heir. See in-3, hereditary
Related forms
half-inherited, adjective
noninherited, adjective
preinherit, verb (used with object)
quasi-inherited, adjective
reinherit, verb
uninherited, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inheriting
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Let there be no inheriting of rights but from such a parent.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • "And which doubtless some other had calculated on inheriting," said the youth.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore Charles James Lever
  • How, then, is he to blame mankind for inheriting "sinfulness" from their first parents?

    Elsie Venner Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • Nobody ever heard of inheriting anything but money when I was a girl.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • It struck him that his chance of inheriting was not so very obscure, after all.

    Rhoda Fleming, Complete George Meredith
British Dictionary definitions for inheriting


verb -its, -iting, -ited
to receive (property, a right, title, etc) by succession or under a will
(intransitive) to succeed as heir
(transitive) to possess (a characteristic) through genetic transmission
(transitive) to receive (a position, attitude, property, etc) from a predecessor
Derived Forms
inherited, adjective
inheritor, noun
inheritress, inheritrix, noun:feminine
Word Origin
C14: from Old French enheriter, from Late Latin inhērēditāre to appoint an heir, from Latin hērēsheir
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 inheriting



c.1300, "to make (someone) an heir," from Old French enheriter "make heir, appoint as heir," from Late Latin inhereditare "to appoint as heir," from Latin in- "in" (see in- (2)) + hereditare "to inherit," from heres (genitive heredis) "heir" (see heredity). Sense of "receive inheritance" arose mid-14c.; original sense is retained in disinherit. Related: Inherited; inheriting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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inheriting in Medicine

inherit in·her·it (ĭn-hěr'ĭt)
v. in·her·it·ed, in·her·it·ing, in·her·its
To receive a trait from one's parents by genetic transmission.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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