heir at law

noun,plural heirs at law.
  1. a person who inherits, or has a right of inheritance in, the real property of one who has died without leaving a valid will.

Origin of heir at law

First recorded in 1720–30

Words Nearby heir at law

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use heir at law in a sentence

  • It could hardly be expected that the heir-at-law would have fulfilled these intentions, even had he been cognisant of them.

  • The heir-at-law was well inclined to it, but melancholy, so that the people dare not trust to a settlement from him.

  • It would be fatal to the interests of Floyd if the will should be ignored and half the estate allowed him as heir-at-law.

    The Incendiary | W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy
  • Till she became my widow and my heir-at-law, the mercenary baronet would play his cards to win her honorably.

    The Master of Appleby | Francis Lynde
  • It turned out that Mr. Dorrit, being of the Dorrits of Dorsetshire, was heir-at-law to a great fortune.

    The World's Greatest Books, Vol III | Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton, Eds.

British Dictionary definitions for heir-at-law


nounplural heirs-at-law
  1. property law the person entitled to succeed to the real property of a person who dies intestate

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