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[air-loom] /ˈɛərˌlum/
a family possession handed down from generation to generation.
Law. property neither personal nor real that descends to the heir of an estate as part of the real property.
being an old variety that is being cultivated again:
heirloom vegetables and fruits.
Origin of heirloom
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English heirlome. See heir, loom1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heirloom
  • Purchase antique rings or use heirloom rings if possible.
  • Healthy-looking people were sampling local hams, heirloom tomatoes and raw-milk cheeses.
  • heirloom tomatoes are one of our favorite summer treats.
  • Fruitcake is the only food durable enough to become a family heirloom.
  • Seasonal swim pond, large organic kitchen garden with heirloom vegetables.
  • Here are the best heirloom tomatoes and the best heirloom tomato recipes.
  • We sit at the bar overlooking the brick oven, separated from the kitchen by a wall of heirloom tomatoes.
  • It's been fun watching the heirloom edible movement regain momentum.
  • The profusion of heirloom tomato varieties in fine produce departments and farmers' markets amazes us every summer.
  • The group provided the seeds for a bed of spring wheat and heirloom barely, it did not plant it.
British Dictionary definitions for heirloom


an object that has been in a family for generations
(property law) a chattel inherited by special custom or in accordance with the terms of a will
Word Origin
C15: from heir + lome tool; see loom1
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 heirloom

early 15c., ayre lome, a hybrid from heir + loom in its original but now otherwise obsolete sense of "implement, tool." Technically, some piece of property that by will or custom passes down with the real estate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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