something that is or may be inherited; property passing at the owner's death to the heir or those entitled to succeed; legacy.
the genetic characters transmitted from parent to offspring, taken collectively.
something, as a quality, characteristic, or other immaterial possession, received from progenitors or predecessors as if by succession: an inheritance of family pride.
the act or fact of inheriting by succession, as if by succession, or genetically: to receive property by inheritance.
portion; birthright; heritage: Absolute rule was considered the inheritance of kings.
Obsolete. right of possession; ownership.

1375–1425; Middle English enheritance < Anglo-French. See inherit, -ance

preinheritance, noun

1. patrimony; bequest. Inheritance, heritage denote something inherited. Inheritance is the common term for property or any possession that comes to an heir: He received the farm as an inheritance from his parents. Heritage indicates something that is bequeathed to a subsequent generation by an individual or by society: our cultural heritage from Greece and Rome. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
inheritance (ɪnˈhɛrɪtəns)
1.  law
 a.  hereditary succession to an estate, title, etc
 b.  the right of an heir to succeed to property on the death of an ancestor
 c.  something that may legally be transmitted to an heir
2.  the act of inheriting
3.  something inherited; heritage
4.  the derivation of characteristics of one generation from an earlier one by heredity
5.  obsolete hereditary rights

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"that which is inherited," late 15c., from inherit.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

inheritance in·her·i·tance (ĭn-hěr'ĭ-təns)

  1. The process of genetic transmission of traits from parents to offspring.

  2. A characteristic so inherited.

  3. The sum of characteristics genetically transmitted from parents to offspring.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
inheritance   (ĭn-hěr'ĭ-təns)  Pronunciation Key 
The process by which traits or characteristics pass from parents to offspring through the genes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

inheritance definition

programming, object-oriented
In object-oriented programming, the ability to derive new classes from existing classes. A derived class (or "subclass") inherits the instance variables and methods of the "base class" (or "superclass"), and may add new instance variables and methods. New methods may be defined with the same names as those in the base class, in which case they override the original one.
For example, bytes might belong to the class of integers for which an add method might be defined. The byte class would inherit the add method from the integer class.
See also Liskov substitution principle, multiple inheritance.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
Turning down an inheritance may seem to be an alien concept.
And that-the inheritance of an acquired characteristic-is quite startling.
Using standard inheritance theory, scientists have searched for the genes
  underlying autism with little success.
He is successful financially, with perhaps an inheritance as a solid background.
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