noun (plural heirs presumptive)
An heir whose claim could be set aside by the birth of another heir. Compare with heir apparent.
- Still regarding himself as the heir presumptive to the French throne, he became the sworn enemy of the French regent, the Duke of Orleans.
- After considerable hesitation, not least by her father who feared that his daughter's marriage to the heir presumptive would make him unpopular, the couple were accepted at court.
- The impatience of the heir presumptive most notoriously surfaced at a breakfast hosted by the Guardian last November.
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Syllabification: heir pre·sump·tive
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