- something that is or may be inherited; property passing at the owner's death to the heir or those entitled to succeed; legacy.
- the genetic characters transmitted from parent to offspring, taken collectively.
- something, as a quality, characteristic, or other immaterial possession, received from progenitors or predecessors as if by succession: an inheritance of family pride.
- the act or fact of inheriting by succession, as if by succession, or genetically: to receive property by inheritance.
- portion; birthright; heritage: Absolute rule was considered the inheritance of kings.
- Obsolete. right of possession; ownership.
Origin of inheritance
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for inheritance
The cops say Kakehi gained several hundred million yen in inheritance from the deaths over the years.Beware of Japan’s “Black Widows”
November 20, 2014
What I assume is that we will come to a final peaceful settlement in which we agree on the value of the inheritance.In Tussle Over Will, Mistress’s Family Takes a Bite Out of NYU
November 10, 2014
That is to say, the ancestral genes, the ancestral strain of inheritance, appears again in these little children.Joseph Campbell on the Roots of Halloween
October 31, 2014
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.
It's an inheritance from Daddy, this concentrating with all my might on one thing at a time.Her Father's Daughter
It is said that the teacher's noblest work is to lead the child to his inheritance.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
His memory is the inheritance of Americans as well as Englishmen.The Works of Whittier, Volume VI (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
He was an inheritor; and she had loved, not him, but his inheritance.Tiverton Tales
Our character is forged in the past, we cannot escape our inheritance.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
- hereditary succession to an estate, title, etc
- the right of an heir to succeed to property on the death of an ancestor
- something that may legally be transmitted to an heir
- the act of inheriting
- something inherited; heritage
- the derivation of characteristics of one generation from an earlier one by heredity
- obsolete hereditary rights
Word Origin and History for inheritance
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.
- The process of genetic transmission of traits from parents to offspring.
- A characteristic so inherited.
- The sum of characteristics genetically transmitted from parents to offspring.
- The process by which traits or characteristics pass from parents to offspring through the genes.