- a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter's death.
- (in common law) a person who inherits all the property of a deceased person, as by descent, relationship, will, or legal process.
- Civil Law.a person who legally succeeds to the place of a deceased person and assumes the rights and obligations of the deceased, as the liabilities for debts or the possessory rights to property.
- a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another.
- a person or group considered as inheriting the tradition, talent, etc., of a predecessor.
- Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to inherit; succeed to.
Origin of heir
Examples from the Web for heir
The heir to a tightrope walking family has tried some crazy stunts in his day.Nik Wallenda’s Blindfolded Tightrope Caper: Defying Death Over The Chicago River
November 2, 2014
Phew, he could have sex too, so an heir for Downton was assured.Dan Stevens Blows Up ‘Downton’: From Chubby-Cheeked Aristo to Lean, Mean American Psycho
September 19, 2014
His mate soon gives birth to a son, Simba, and Mufasa teaches his heir apparent how to become a noble leader.The 13 Coolest Movie Dads: ‘Taken,’ ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Die Hard,’ and More
June 15, 2014
And to let you comprehend whether you are heir to that civilization or spouting hot air about it.My Commencement Speech to Rutgers’ Geniuses: Go Forth and Fail
P. J. O’Rourke
May 18, 2014
He killed his own son and heir by whacking him over the head with the monarchal staff in a tsar-ish fit of temper.Russian History Is on Our Side: Putin Will Surely Screw Himself
P. J. O’Rourke
May 11, 2014
But at least it is heir to the conquests which go to its stage of advance.The Conquest of Fear
I have plenty for both boys, but the dark one must be the heir.
On the face of a rich man's heir is written the rich man's memento mori!
Morning for the heir, night for the houseless, and God's eye over both.
He, once the heir to such fortunes, the darling of such affections!
- civil law the person legally succeeding to all property of a deceased person, irrespective of whether such person died testate or intestate, and upon whom devolves as well as the rights the duties and liabilities attached to the estate
- any person or thing that carries on some tradition, circumstance, etc, from a forerunner
- an archaic word for offspring
Word Origin and History for heir
c.1300, from Anglo-French heir, Old French oir "heir, successor," from Latin heredem (nominative heres) "heir, heiress" (see heredity). Heir apparent (late 14c.) has the French order of noun-adjective, though it was not originally so written in English. It is the heir of one still alive whose right is clear. After death the heir apparent becomes the heir-at-law.