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[her-ee-uh t] /ˈhɛr i ət/
noun, English Law.
a feudal service or tribute, originally of borrowed military equipment and later of a chattel, due to the lord on the death of a tenant.
Origin of heriot
before 900; Middle English heriot, heriet, Old English heregeate, heregeatu, heregeatwa war gear, equivalent to here army + geate, etc., equipment; cognate with Old Norse gǫtvar (plural) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heriot
Historical Examples
  • Dr. heriot gave a low exclamation of surprise, which evidently irritated Miss Trelawny.

    Heriot's Choice Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • The heriot of a virgate was generally an ox, or money payment of its value.

    The Enclosures in England Harriett Bradley
  • Dr. heriot looked up for the minute fairly startled when Mildred came in with her pink cheeks and her roses.

    Heriot's Choice Rosa Nouchette Carey
  • They couldna mak' my legs gude i' the infairmary, but I'm gangin' to heriot's.

    Greyfriars Bobby Eleanor Atkinson
  • Old heriot looks too close into business to permit me more than the paltry and ordinary dues.

    The Fortunes of Nigel Sir Walter Scott
  • Mrs. heriot went to her and laid her hand on the girl's shoulder.

    The Convert Elizabeth Robins
  • "You're surprised I should address you, Mr. heriot," she said.

    One Man's View Leonard Merrick
  • I had to confess she did; and feeling a twinge of my treason to her, felt hers to heriot.

  • Thomas le Brod holds one acre and a cottage and owes at the said term 3s., attendance, relief, and heriot.

  • Every time I spoke of her father and heriot, she cried, 'Oh, hush!'

British Dictionary definitions for heriot


(in medieval England) a death duty paid by villeins and free tenants to their lord, often consisting of the dead man's best beast or chattel
Word Origin
Old English heregeatwa, from here army + geatwa equipment
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 heriot

Old English here-geatwe (plural) "military equipment, army-gear," from here "army" (see harry). An Anglo-Saxon service of weapons, loaned by the lord to his retainer and repayable to him upon the retainer's death; transferred by 13c. to a feudal due upon the death of a tenant, payable to his lord in beasts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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