[ in-her-it ]
See synonyms for: inheritinheritedinheriting on

verb (used with object)
  1. to take or receive (property, a right, a title, etc.) by succession or will, as an heir: to inherit the family business.

  2. to receive as if by succession from predecessors: the problems the new government inherited from the previous administration.

  1. to receive (a genetic character or trait) by the transmission of hereditary factors.

  2. to succeed (a person) as heir.

  3. to receive as one's portion; come into possession of: to inherit his brother's old clothes.

verb (used without object)
  1. to take or receive property or the like by virtue of being heir to it.

  2. to receive qualities, powers, duties, etc., as by inheritance (followed by from).

  1. to have succession as heir.

Origin of inherit

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English en(h)erit(i)en, from Middle French enheriter, from Late Latin inhērēditāre “to make heir”; see in-3, hereditary

Other words from inherit

  • pre·in·her·it, verb (used with object)
  • re·in·her·it, verb

Words Nearby inherit Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use inherit in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for inherit


/ (ɪnˈhɛrɪt) /

verb-its, -iting or -ited
  1. to receive (property, a right, title, etc) by succession or under a will

  2. (intr) to succeed as heir

  1. (tr) to possess (a characteristic) through genetic transmission

  2. (tr) to receive (a position, attitude, property, etc) from a predecessor

Origin of inherit

C14: from Old French enheriter, from Late Latin inhērēditāre to appoint an heir, from Latin hērēs heir

Derived forms of inherit

  • inherited, adjective
  • inheritor, noun
  • inheritress or inheritrix, fem n

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