Share this entry

inheritance Line breaks: in|her¦it|ance
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈhɛrɪt(ə)ns/

Definition of inheritance in English:


1A thing that is inherited: he came into a comfortable inheritance I don’t want a penny of your inheritance figurative the European cultural inheritance
More example sentences
  • The 8th shows gain from dowries, unexpected inheritances and legacies.
  • Your children must pay gift tax on taxable gifts and inheritance tax on taxable inheritances (spouses do not pay this tax).
  • The trust can accept and invest inheritances and gifts, and money from the trust can supplement the child's government benefits without jeopardizing them.
1.1 [mass noun] The action of inheriting: the inheritance of traits
More example sentences
  • In the event of a customary marriage only, customary inheritance laws are enforced.
  • This, in my view, would be a distortion of the principles underlying customary law of succession and inheritance.
  • Such epigenetic inheritance across somatic cell generations is well accepted.
succession to, accession to, assumption of, taking over of, elevation to


Late Middle English (formerly also as enheritance): from Anglo-Norman French enheritaunce 'being admitted as heir', from Old French enheriter (see inherit).

Words that rhyme with inheritance

capacitance • hesitance

Definition of inheritance in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day exemplum
Pronunciation: iɡˈzempləm
an example or model...