Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Property that is or can be inherited; an inheritance.
  • n. Something that is passed down from preceding generations; a tradition.
  • n. The status acquired by a person through birth; a birthright: a heritage of affluence and social position.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An inheritance; property that may be inherited.
  • n. A tradition; something that can be passed down from preceding generations.
  • n. A birthright; the status acquired by birth, especially of but not exclusive to the firstborn.
  • n. Having a certain background, such as growing up with a second language.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. That which is inherited, or passes from heir to heir; inheritance.
  • adj. A possession; the Israelites, as God's chosen people; also, a flock under pastoral charge.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That which is inherited as a material possession; an inheritance or inherited estate; specifically, in Scots law, heritable estate; realty.
  • n. That which is given or received as a permanent possession or right; that which is allotted or appropriated; hence, portion; part: used in the Bible for the chosen people, the body of saints, or the church, as God's portion of mankind.
  • n. That which comes from the circumstances of birth; a condition or quality transmitted by ancestors; inherited lot or portion: as, a heritage of luxury, poverty, suffering, or shame.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. that which is inherited; a title or property or estate that passes by law to the heir on the death of the owner
  • n. hereditary succession to a title or an office or property
  • n. any attribute or immaterial possession that is inherited from ancestors
  • n. practices that are handed down from the past by tradition

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from eritier, heir, from Medieval Latin hērēditārius, from Latin, inherited; see hereditary.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French héritage, from Latin hereditas. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term "heritage turkey" has become such a marketing buzzword that unscrupulous farmers and grocers might be tempted to apply it indiscrimately, to things like organic or free-range turkeys, in order to charge premium prices.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • For the present, let us leave the term heritage to the economist for the material wealth with which he is primarily concerned, and employ the term _tradition_ for these immaterial and distinctively social elements we are here specially considering.

    Civics: as Applied Sociology

  • You know the first day I walked in here I talked about the term heritage brands that you've heard me speak of this afternoon.

    Retail Sector and Stocks Analysis from Seeking Alpha

  • In that moment I understood the meaning of the word heritage.

    God’s Guest List

  • It must be cause my heritage is the best …. yah thats it.

    Think Progress » ThinkFast: May 19, 2006

  • It must be cause my heritage is the best†¦. yah thats it.

    Think Progress » ThinkFast: May 19, 2006

  • To preserve this heritage is our constant endeavour-and in this many of you here in Canada, and in this room, are playing a splendid part, through your generous support of the National Trust for Scotland-in this you have our warmest thanks.

    St. Andrew's Day Special Meeting

  • The third point to which I would ask your attention in describing the heritage is a consideration of the forces which operating together have created the British Empire.

    Guarding Our Heritage

  • It doesn't help that the word "heritage" is not federally regulated.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • When the word "heritage" is mentioned, people always associate it with preserving old buildings.

    Oh, Penang!

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Comments

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  • From http://whc.unesco.org/en/conventiontext/

    'For the purposes of this Convention, the following shall be considered as "cultural heritage":

    'monuments: architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science;

    'groups of buildings: groups of separate or connected buildings which, because of their architecture, their homogeneity or their place in the landscape, are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science;

    'sites: works of man or the combined works of nature and man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological point of view.'

    October 21, 2007