Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To take (property) by law of descent from an intestate owner.
  • intransitive verb To receive (property) by will; receive by bequest or devise.
  • intransitive verb To receive or take over from a predecessor.
  • intransitive verb Biology To receive (a characteristic) from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission.
  • intransitive verb To gain (something) as one's right or portion.
  • intransitive verb To hold or take possession of an inheritance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In law, to take by descent from an ancestor; get by succession, as the representative of the former possessor; receive as a right or title descendible by law from an ancestor at his decease: as, the eldest son of a nobleman inherits his father's title.
  • To receive from one's progenitors as part of one's physical or mental constitution; possess intrinsically through descent.
  • To receive by transmission in any way; have imparted to or conferred upon; acquire from any source.
  • To succeed by inheritance.
  • To put in possession; seize: with of.
  • To be vested with a right to a thing (specifically to real property) by operation of law, as successor in interest on the death of the former owner; have succession as heir: sometimes with to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To take or hold a possession, property, estate, or rights by inheritance.
  • transitive verb (Law) To take by descent from an ancestor; to take by inheritance; to take as heir on the death of an ancestor or other person to whose estate one succeeds; to receive as a right or title descendible by law from an ancestor at his decease
  • transitive verb To receive or take by birth; to have by nature; to derive or acquire from ancestors, as mental or physical qualities, genes, or genetic traits
  • transitive verb To come into possession of; to possess; to own; to enjoy as a possession.
  • transitive verb rare To put in possession of.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To take possession of as a right (especially in Biblical translations).
  • verb transitive To receive (property or a title etc), by legal succession or bequest after the previous owner's death.
  • verb transitive (biology) To receive a characteristic from one's ancestors by genetic transmission.
  • verb transitive To derive from people or conditions previously in force.
  • verb intransitive to come into an inheritance.
  • verb computing, programming, transitive To derive (existing functionality) from a superclass.
  • verb computing, programming, transitive To derive a new class from (a superclass).

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

  • verb receive from a predecessor
  • verb obtain from someone after their death
  • verb receive by genetic transmission

Etymologies

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

[Middle English enheriten, from Old French enheriter, to make heir to, from Late Latin inhērēditāre, to inherit : Latin in-, in; see in– + Late Latin hērēditāre, to inherit (from Latin hērēs, hērēd-, heir; see ghē- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French enheriter, from Late Latin inhereditare ("make heir").

Examples

  • Excepting the wrong use of the term inherit, we were not prepared to dispute the old gentleman's ideas respecting the origin of his disease.

    Plain Facts for Old and Young

  • Excepting the wrong use of the term inherit, we were not prepared to dispute the old gentleman's ideas respecting the origin of his disease.

    Plain facts for old and young : embracing the natural history and hygiene of organic life.

  • In the context of what it means to be an American today, we must examine the values that we inherit from the pioneers and frontiersmen, and how they relate to the future of our nation in the world.

    To Be American: Part One - The Frontiersmen | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • What can we do to ensure that the America our children inherit is better in the future?

    We're not yet Greece, but are we still America?

  • Over time they may be able to change the facts as they are ... but what they will inherit is the real world of the right now.

    Blitzer: Bush injects himself into Democratic politics

  • For many want-to-be retirees, whether to set aside money for the children to inherit is a tough question.

    Money Mentors: How should retirees plan for their kids?

  • The Constitution we are likely to inherit from a second Bush Administration will be a bit like the famous New Yorker cartoon of the New Yorker's vision of the World, with the Commander-in-Chief Clause dominating the page in powerful, large letters, and the rest of the Constitutional text shrinking away into tiny, barely readable prose.

    Balkinization

  • The Constitution we are likely to inherit from a second Bush Administration will be a bit like the famous New Yorker cartoon of the New Yorker's vision of the World, with the Commander-in-Chief Clause dominating the page in powerful, large letters, and the rest of the Constitutional text shrinking away into tiny, barely readable prose.

    Balkinization

  • The Constitution we are likely to inherit from a second Bush Administration will be a bit like the famous New Yorker cartoon of the New Yorker's vision of the World, with the Commander-in-Chief Clause dominating the page in powerful, large letters, and the rest of the Constitutional text shrinking away into tiny, barely readable prose.

    Balkinization

  • The Constitution we are likely to inherit from a second Bush Administration will be a bit like the famous New Yorker cartoon of the New Yorker's vision of the World, with the Commander-in-Chief Clause dominating the page in powerful, large letters, and the rest of the Constitutional text shrinking away into tiny, barely readable prose.

    Balkinization

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