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heir presumptive

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noun, plural heirs presumptive.
  1. a person who is expected to be the heir but whose expectations may be canceled by the birth of a nearer heir.
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Origin of heir presumptive

First recorded in 1620–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heir presumptive

Historical Examples

  • It would have been different, no doubt, had Herbert still been heir-presumptive.

    That Stick

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The heir-presumptive to the French crown was the Duc de Berry.

  • The Duke of York, heir-presumptive to the crown, had died on January 5.

  • When Uncle Rad succeeded to the title, Arthur was heir-presumptive of course.

    The Heart of a Woman

    Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy

  • Would she rob the Duke, and his heir-presumptive, and Tanville-Tankertons yet unborn?

    Zuleika Dobson

    Max Beerbohm


British Dictionary definitions for heir presumptive

heir presumptive

noun
  1. property law a person who expects to succeed to an estate but whose right may be defeated by the birth of one nearer in blood to the ancestorCompare heir apparent
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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