views updated May 29 2018

in·her·it / inˈherit/ • v. (-her·it·ed, -her·it·ing) [tr.] receive (money, property, or a title) as an heir at the death of the previous holder: she inherited a fortune from her father. ∎  derive (a quality, characteristic, or predisposition) genetically from one's parents or ancestors: she had inherited the beauty of her grandmother. ∎  receive or be left with (a situation, object, etc.) from a predecessor or former owner: spending commitments inherited from previous administrations. ∎  come into possession of (belongings) from someone else: she inherits all her clothes from her older sisters. ∎  archaic come into possession of (something) as a right (esp. in biblical translations and allusions): master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?DERIVATIVES: in·her·i·tor / -ˈheritər/ n.


views updated May 14 2018

inherit †make heir; take or receive as heir. XIV. ME. en(h)erite — OF. enheriter, f. EN-1 + hériter :- late L. hērēdītāre, f. hērēs, hērēd- HEIR.
So inheritance XIV. — AN. inheritor XV, inheritrix XVI.


views updated Jun 27 2018


To receive property according to the state laws of intestate succession from a decedent who has failed to execute a valid will, or, where the term is applied in a more general sense, to receive the property of a decedent by will.