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heir

[air] /ɛər/
noun
1.
a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of another following the latter's death.
2.
Law.
  1. (in common law) a person who inherits all the property of a deceased person, as by descent, relationship, will, or legal process.
  2. Civil Law. a person who legally succeeds to the place of a deceased person and assumes the rights and obligations of the deceased, as the liabilities for debts or the possessory rights to property.
3.
a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit the rank, title, position, etc., of another.
4.
a person or group considered as inheriting the tradition, talent, etc., of a predecessor.
verb (used with object)
5.
Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to inherit; succeed to.
Origin
1225-1275
1225-75; Middle English eir, heir < Old French < Latin hērēd- (stem of hērēs); akin to Greek chêros bereaved
Related forms
heirless, adjective
Can be confused
air, e'er, ere, err, heir.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for heir
  • At the death of his predecessor the heir-apparent becomes heir-at-law.
  • Tom is glib and undisciplined enough to maintain that his philandering is no more than the ills that all flesh is heir to.
  • In a sharp break with tradition, he was the first heir to marry a commoner.
  • This debut novel of a trilogy centers on the true heir of Merlin.
  • The heir to a royal house must protect his people from destruction.
  • With the founder gone and no heir apparent, the company was directionless.
  • Each one of us is heir to the knowledge and wisdom of past generations.
  • The primary purpose of a royal marriage was to beget an heir to continue the line.
  • Such a home as he had was there, and of the things that belonged to it he was the heir.
  • Some heir to some producer or star from back in the day may own them and no one is actively working to generate revenue with them.
British Dictionary definitions for heir

heir

/ɛə/
noun
1.
(civil law) the person legally succeeding to all property of a deceased person, irrespective of whether such person died testate or intestate, and upon whom devolves as well as the rights the duties and liabilities attached to the estate
2.
any person or thing that carries on some tradition, circumstance, etc, from a forerunner
3.
an archaic word for offspring
Derived Forms
heirless, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from Latin hērēs; related to Greek khēros bereaved
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heir
heir
late 13c., from Anglo-Fr. heir, from O.Fr. hair, from L. heres (gen. heredis) "heir, heiress" (see heredity). Heir apparent (late 14c.) has the French order of noun-adj., though it was not originally so in English. It is the heir of one still alive whose right is clear. After death the heir apparent becomes the heir-at-law.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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heir in the Bible

Under the patriarchs the property of a father was divided among the sons of his legitimate wives (Gen. 21:10; 24:36; 25:5), the eldest son getting a larger portion than the rest. The Mosaic law made specific regulations regarding the transmission of real property, which are given in detail in Deut. 21:17; Num. 27:8; 36:6; 27:9-11. Succession to property was a matter of right and not of favour. Christ is the "heir of all things" (Heb. 1:2; Col. 1:15). Believers are heirs of the "promise," "of righteousness," "of the kingdom," "of the world," "of God," "joint heirs" with Christ (Gal 3:29; Heb. 6:17; 11:7; James 2:5; Rom. 4:13; 8:17).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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7
6
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