heir

[ air ]
/ ɛər /

noun

a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter's death.
Law.
  1. (in common law) a person who inherits all the property of a deceased person, as by descent, relationship, will, or legal process.
  2. 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.

verb (used with object)

Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to inherit; succeed to.

Origin of heir

1225–75; Middle English eir, heir < Old French < Latin hērēd- (stem of hērēs); akin to Greek chêros bereaved

Related forms

heir·less, adjective

Can be confused

air e'er ere err heir
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heir

British Dictionary definitions for heir

heir

/ (ɛə) /

noun

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

Derived Forms

heirless, adjective

Word Origin for heir

C13: from Old French, from Latin hērēs; related to Greek khēros bereaved
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