birth-right

birthright

[burth-rahyt]
noun
any right or privilege to which a person is entitled by birth: Democracy maintains that freedom is a birthright.

Origin:
1525–35; birth + right

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
birthright (ˈbɜːθˌraɪt)
 
n
1.  privileges or possessions that a person has or is believed to be entitled to as soon as he is born
2.  the privileges or possessions of a first-born son
3.  inheritance; patrimony

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

birthright
1530s, from birth + right. Used as an adj. from 1650s, especially by Quakers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Birthright definition


(1.) This word denotes the special privileges and advantages belonging to the first-born son among the Jews. He became the priest of the family. Thus Reuben was the first-born of the patriarchs, and so the priesthood of the tribes belonged to him. That honour was, however, transferred by God from Reuben to Levi (Num. 3:12, 13; 8:18). (2.) The first-born son had allotted to him also a double portion of the paternal inheritance (Deut. 21:15-17). Reuben was, because of his undutiful conduct, deprived of his birth-right (Gen. 49:4; 1 Chr. 5:1). Esau transferred his birth-right to Jacob (Gen. 25:33). (3.) The first-born inherited the judicial authority of his father, whatever it might be (2 Chr. 21:3). By divine appointment, however, David excluded Adonijah in favour of Solomon. (4.) The Jews attached a sacred importance to the rank of "first-born" and "first-begotten" as applied to the Messiah (Rom. 8:29; Col. 1:18; Heb. 1:4-6). As first-born he has an inheritance superior to his brethren, and is the alone true priest.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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