View synonyms for inheritance


[ in-her-i-tuhns ]


  1. something that is or may be inherited; property passing at the owner's death to the heir or those entitled to succeed; legacy.

    Synonyms: bequest, patrimony

  2. the genetic characters transmitted from parent to offspring, taken collectively.
  3. something, as a quality, characteristic, or other immaterial possession, received from progenitors or predecessors as if by succession:

    an inheritance of family pride.

  4. the act or fact of inheriting by succession, as if by succession, or genetically:

    to receive property by inheritance.

  5. portion; birthright; heritage:

    Absolute rule was considered the inheritance of kings.

  6. Obsolete. right of possession; ownership.


/ ɪnˈhɛrɪtəns /


  1. law
    1. hereditary succession to an estate, title, etc
    2. the right of an heir to succeed to property on the death of an ancestor
    3. something that may legally be transmitted to an heir
  2. the act of inheriting
  3. something inherited; heritage
  4. the derivation of characteristics of one generation from an earlier one by heredity
  5. obsolete.
    hereditary rights


/ ĭn-hĕrĭ-təns /

  1. The process by which traits or characteristics pass from parents to offspring through the genes.

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Other Words From

  • prein·herit·ance noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of inheritance1

First recorded in 1375–1425; Middle English enheritance, from Anglo-French; equivalent to inherit + -ance

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Synonym Study

Inheritance, heritage denote something inherited. Inheritance is the common term for property or any possession that comes to an heir: He received the farm as an inheritance from his parents. Heritage indicates something that is bequeathed to a subsequent generation by an individual or by society: our cultural heritage from Greece and Rome.

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Example Sentences

Our friendship helped me grasp my inheritance—as an Armenian, as an American, as a human—and to begin the journey of processing it on my own terms.

The preference for sons among land-owning caste groups in the north is supported by local people’s disapproval of inheritance laws that acknowledge the rights of males and females equally.

Zanders helped build a case that the skewed inheritance in these yeast was a real effect, not just fluctuations in the data.

LGBTQ individuals are able to serve in the military, are protected by anti-discrimination laws and have adoption and same-sex inheritance rights.

On average, for adults born in the 1980s, the researchers estimate inheritances will make up 14% of their overall lifetime income, up from 8% for those born in in the 1960s.

From Quartz

The cops say Kakehi gained several hundred million yen in inheritance from the deaths over the years.

What I assume is that we will come to a final peaceful settlement in which we agree on the value of the inheritance.

That is to say, the ancestral genes, the ancestral strain of inheritance, appears again in these little children.

Among boomers who will receive an inheritance, the top 10 percent will receive more than every other decile combined.

In some ways the emerging age of inheritance stems from the success Americans enjoyed over the past half century.

In the time when thou shalt end the days of thy life, and in the time of thy decease, distribute thy inheritance.

The inheritance of the children of sinners shall perish, and with their posterity shall be a perpetual reproach.

He acknowledged him in his blessings, and gave him an inheritance, and divided him his portion in twelve tribes.

And he added glory to Aaron, and gave him an inheritance, and divided unto him the firstfruits of the increase of the earth.

My inheritance is become to me as a lion in the wood: it hath cried out against me, therefore have I hated it.


Related Words




inheritableinheritance tax