Definition of inherit in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈherət/

verb (inherits, inheriting, inherited)

[with object]
1Receive (money, property, or a title) as an heir at the death of the previous holder: she inherited a fortune from her father
More example sentences
  • Often properties are inherited by several heirs.
  • All other property is inherited equally among all heirs from both parents.
  • This allows you to decide exactly which people will inherit any money, property or other assets when you die.
become heir to, come into/by, be bequeathed, be left, be willed, receive;
Law  be devised
hereditary, willed, handed-down, passed-down, passed-on, transferred;
ancestral, family, familial
1.1Derive (a quality, characteristic, or predisposition) genetically from one’s parents or ancestors: she had inherited the beauty of her grandmother
More example sentences
  • This gives the basis for following genetically inherited traits, ranging from predisposition to certain diseases to conformation characteristics.
  • Children who develop asthma have inherited a genetic predisposition to have the disease.
  • The scientists examined nine genetic areas inherited from both parents.
genetic, congenital, inborn, hereditary, inbred, innate;
in the family, in the blood, in the genes
1.2Receive or be left with (a situation, object, etc.) from a predecessor or former owner: spending commitments inherited from previous administrations
More example sentences
  • We appreciate that she has inherited a bad situation that was made worse by her predecessor.
  • Was this due to the financial situation inherited from the administration before them?
  • We all have aspects that we don't much like: either inherited from the previous owner, or mistakes that we have made ourselves.
succeed to, assume, take over, come into
formal accede to
1.3North American Come into possession of (belongings) from someone else: she inherits all her clothes from her older sisters
More example sentences
  • I'm not against buying second hand clothes, nor inheriting from other people.
  • Our son even inherited Thomas' outgrown clothes.
1.4 archaic Come into possession of (something) as a right (especially in biblical translations and allusions): master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
More example sentences
  • The promise went to Abraham's singular seed, Christ, but other people can be incorporated into Christ and thus inherit the biblical promises to Abraham.
  • This ‘other’ God allowed his only Son to die for us so that we might accept him in faith and love and inherit the gift of eternal life.
  • In Matthew 25:36, Jesus says of those inheriting the kingdom of God, ‘I was in prison and you visited me.’


Middle English enherite 'receive as a right', from Old French enheriter, from late Latin inhereditare 'appoint as heir', from Latin in- 'in' + heres, hered- 'heir'.

Words that rhyme with inherit

ferret, merit

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·her·it

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