- (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.
verb (used with object)
Origin of heir
Word Origin 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.