noun, plural stir·pes [stur-peez] /ˈstɜr piz/.

a stock; family or branch of a family; line of descent.
Law. a person from whom a family is descended.
Biology Now Rare. a family, superfamily, or permanent variety.

Origin of stirps

1675–85; < Latin: rootstock, trunk

per stirpes

[pur stur-peez, per]

adjective, adverb Law.

pertaining to or noting a method of dividing an estate in which the descendants of a deceased person share as a group in the portion of the estate to which the deceased would have been entitled.

Origin of per stirpes

First recorded in 1675–85, per stirpes is from the Latin word per stirpēs literally, by stocks Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stirpes

Historical Examples of stirpes

British Dictionary definitions for stirpes


noun plural stirpes (ˈstɜːpiːz)

genealogy a line of descendants from an ancestor; stock or strain
botany a race or variety, esp one in which the characters are maintained by cultivation

Word Origin for stirps

C17: from Latin: root, family origin
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 stirpes

plural of stirps, Latin, literally "stem, stalk."

per stirpes

Latin, "by families, by stocks;" in legal use, for inheritances, etc., opposed to per capita.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper