[ air-loom ]
/ ˈɛərˌlum /


a family possession handed down from generation to generation.
Law. property neither personal nor real that descends to the heir of an estate as part of the real property.


noting or relating to an old plant variety that is being cultivated again: heirloom vegetables and fruits.Compare heritage(def 6).

Origin of heirloom

First recorded in 1375–1425, heirloom is from the late Middle English word heirlome. See heir, loom1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for heirloom


/ (ˈɛəˌluːm) /


an object that has been in a family for generations
property law a chattel inherited by special custom or in accordance with the terms of a will

Word Origin for heirloom

C15: from heir + lome tool; see loom 1
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

Word Origin and History for heirloom



early 15c., ayre lome, a hybrid from heir + loom in its original but now otherwise obsolete sense of "implement, tool." Technically, some piece of property that by will or custom passes down with the real estate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper