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inheritance

[in-her-i-tuhns]
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noun
  1. something that is or may be inherited; property passing at the owner's death to the heir or those entitled to succeed; legacy.
  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.
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Origin of inheritance

1375–1425; Middle English enheritance < Anglo-French. See inherit, -ance
Related formspre·in·her·it·ance, noun

Synonyms

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1. patrimony; bequest. 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

legacybequestestateheritagedevisebirthrightheirloomgiftprimogenitureheritance

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British Dictionary definitions for inheritance

inheritance

noun
  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
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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

Word Origin and History for inheritance

n.

late 14c., enheritaunce "fact of receiving by hereditary succession;" early 15c. as "that which is inherited," from Anglo-French enheritance, Old French enheritaunce, from enheriter (see inherit). Heritance "act of inheriting" is from mid-15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

inheritance in Medicine

inheritance

(ĭn-hĕrĭ-təns)
n.
  1. The process of genetic transmission of traits from parents to offspring.
  2. A characteristic so inherited.
  3. The sum of characteristics genetically transmitted from parents to offspring.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

inheritance in Science

inheritance

[ĭn-hĕrĭ-təns]
  1. The process by which traits or characteristics pass from parents to offspring through the genes.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.