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Webster 1913 Edition


Heir

Heir

(âr)
,
Noun.
[OE.
heir
,
eir
,
hair
, OF.
heir
,
eir
, F.
hoir
, L.
heres
; of uncertain origin. Cf.
Hereditary
,
Heritage
.]
1.
One who inherits, or is entitled to succeed to the possession of, any property after the death of its owner; one on whom the law bestows the title or property of another at the death of the latter.
I am my father’s
heir
and only son.
Shakespeare
2.
One who receives any endowment from an ancestor or relation;
as, the
heir
of one's reputation or virtues
.
And I his
heir
in misery alone.
Pope.
Heir apparent
.
(Law.)
See under
Apparent
.
Heir at law
,
one who, after his ancector's death, has a right to inherit all his intestate estate.
Wharton (Law Dict.).
Heir presumptive
,
one who, if the ancestor should die immediately, would be his heir, but whose right to the inheritance may be defeated by the birth of a nearer relative, or by some other contingency.

Heir

,
Verb.
T.
To inherit; to succeed to.
[R.]
One only daughter
heired
the royal state.
Dryden.

Webster 1828 Edition


Heir

HEIR

,
Noun.
are.
[L. haeres, haeredis.]
1.
The man who succeeds, or is to succeed another in the possession of lands, tenements and hereditaments, by descent; the man on whom the law casts an estate of inheritance by the death of the ancestor or former possessor; or the man in whom the title to an estate of inheritance is vested by the operation of law, on the death of a former owner.
We give the title to a person who is to inherit after the death of an ancestor, and during his life, as well as to the person who has actually come into possession. A man's children are his heirs. In most monarchies,the king's eldest son is heir to the throne; and a nobleman's eldest son is heir to his title.
Lo, one born in my house is my heir. Gen.15.
2.
One who inherits, or takes from an ancestor. The son is often heir to the disease, or to the miseries of the father.
3.
One who succeeds to the estate of a former possessor. Jer.49. Mic.1.
4.
One who is entitled to possess. In Scripture, saints are called heirs of the promise, heirs of righteousness, heirs of salvation, &c., by virtue of the death of Christ, or of God's gracious promises.
Heir-presumptive, one who, if the ancestor should die immediately, would be heir, but whose right of inheritance may be defeated by any contingency, as by the birth of a nearer relative.

HEIR

,
Verb.
T.
are.
To inherit; to take possession of an estate of inheritance, after the death of the ancestor.

Definition 2021


heir

heir

English

Noun

heir (plural heirs, feminine heiress)

  1. Someone who inherits, or is designated to inherit, the property of another.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      I am my father's heir and only son.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      And no use for anyone to tell Charles that this was because the Family was in mourning for Mr Granville Darracott […]: Charles might only have been second footman at Darracott Place for a couple of months when that disaster occurred, but no one could gammon him into thinking that my lord cared a spangle for his heir.
  2. One who inherits, or has been designated to inherit, a hereditary title or office.
  3. A successor in a role, representing continuity with the predecessor.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      And I his heir in misery alone.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter I”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      "I wish we were back in Tenth Street. But so many children came [] and the Tenth Street house wasn't half big enough; and a dreadful speculative builder built this house and persuaded Austin to buy it. Oh, dear, and here we are among the rich and great; and the steel kings and copper kings and oil kings and their heirs and dauphins. []"
    • 2013 May 11, What a waste”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 12:
      India is run by gerontocrats and epigones: grey hairs and groomed heirs.

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Dutch

Pronunciation

Noun

heir n (plural heiren, diminutive heirtje n)

  1. (archaic) Alternative spelling of heer (army)

Derived terms

  • heirbaan
  • heirkracht
  • heirmacht
  • heirschare