Definition of heir in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɛː/


1A person legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person’s death: his eldest son and heir the heir to the throne
More example sentences
  • I was their prince, their heir to the throne, and all they had heard of me was from rumours.
  • The seeming acceptance by the Royal Family of the heir to the throne's new wife has also been of major importance.
  • What everybody forgot was that, with no Empress or heirs to the throne, there was a distinct power void.
successor, next in line, inheritor, heir apparent, heir presumptive, heir-at-law, descendant, beneficiary, legatee, scion;
Law  devisee, grantee, parcener, coparcener;
Scottish Law  heritor
1.1A person who inherits and continues the work of a predecessor: they saw themselves as heirs of the Cubists
More example sentences
  • If they were pioneering dabblers in Freudian analysis, Carrie and her colleagues could be their true heirs.
  • The Nationalists were only too happy in the past to declare themselves as the true heirs of the movement.
  • In that, he is the true heir to Yves Saint Laurent, who could conjure up surrealism without looking a fool.


an heir and a spare

British humorous Two children (typically in reference to members of the monarchy or nobility, said to need two children, one to succeed to a title and the other to guarantee the family line should anything happen to the first): the future King wants to follow in his parents' footsteps by producing the minimum royal issue of an heir and a spare
More example sentences
  • Her job, just like others before her, is to produce an heir and a spare.
  • She did have two kids with Charles - an heir and a spare.
  • She was purely there to produce an heir and a spare.



Pronunciation: /ˈɛːd(ə)m/
Example sentences
  • You are all your own people, and I have no rights over your soul - these very words I speak will likely be the end of the heirdom, should my father ever get wind of them.
  • Bloodlines, most often male, confer honor and power as well as heirdom and charisma.
  • Kevin's intervention in the fight enables his friend to strike the deathblow and he awards the boy his metal mask, the heirdom to the throne and his friendship.


Pronunciation: /ˈɛːləs/
Example sentences
  • I didn't invest sixteen years of my life and money to raise an ungrateful heirless brat!
  • The title was subsequently created for another Humphrey, brother of Henry V, who died heirless, and then for Richard, brother of Edward IV, who became King Richard III in 1483.
  • In 1799 his brother George, who had inherited the estate of their mother's heirless brother, gave him £8000 in Bank of England stock.


Pronunciation: /ˈɛːʃɪp/
Example sentences
  • One such effect could be the application of forced heirship or inheritance rules that generally apply in Continental European countries such as Switzerland, France and Spain, and their former colonies, including the Philippines.
  • Allotments commonly became so divided by heirship that they were virtually worthless except for leasing.
  • The case would be dealt with in this instance under Spanish law and therefore the Spanish forced heirship rules would apply, which may come as a nasty and expensive surprise to the family of the deceased.


Middle English: via Old French from Latin heres.

Words that rhyme with heir

affair, affaire, air, Altair, Althusser, Anvers, Apollinaire, Astaire, aware, Ayer, Ayr, bare, bear, bêche-de-mer, beware, billionaire, Blair, blare, Bonaire, cafetière, care, chair, chargé d'affaires, chemin de fer, Cher, Clair, Claire, Clare, commissionaire, compare, concessionaire, cordon sanitaire, couvert, Daguerre, dare, debonair, declare, derrière, despair, doctrinaire, éclair, e'er, elsewhere, ensnare, ere, extraordinaire, Eyre, fair, fare, fayre, Finisterre, flair, flare, Folies-Bergère, forbear, forswear, foursquare, glair, glare, hair, hare, Herr, impair, jardinière, Khmer, Kildare, La Bruyère, lair, laissez-faire, legionnaire, luminaire, mal de mer, mare, mayor, meunière, mid-air, millionaire, misère, Mon-Khmer, multimillionaire, ne'er, Niger, nom de guerre, outstare, outwear, pair, pare, parterre, pear, père, pied-à-terre, Pierre, plein-air, prayer, questionnaire, rare, ready-to-wear, rivière, Rosslare, Santander, savoir faire, scare, secretaire, share, snare, solitaire, Soufrière, spare, square, stair, stare, surface-to-air, swear, Tailleferre, tare, tear, their, there, they're, vin ordinaire, Voltaire, ware, wear, Weston-super-Mare, where, yeah

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