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[her-i-tij] /ˈhɛr ɪ tɪdʒ/
something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion:
a heritage of poverty and suffering; a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage.
something reserved for one:
the heritage of the righteous.
  1. something that has been or may be inherited by legal descent or succession.
  2. any property, especially land, that devolves by right of inheritance.
Origin of heritage
1175-1225; Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to heriter to inherit + -age -age; see heir
1. estate, patrimony. See inheritance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for heritage
  • Characters attempt to escape their Appalachian heritage, only to be drawn back to their agrarian roots.
  • At least 35 million adults say they plan vacations around cultural or heritage activities.
  • Part of my heritage is another garlic-obsessed culture.
  • One of the few remaining signs of their limbed heritage is the presence of vestigial hips imprisoned in the rib cage.
  • So you cooperate with close kin because it helps get some of your shared genetic heritage into future generations.
  • Tickle is an important part of our primate heritage.
  • Our national heritage contains some of the brightest moments in human history, but also a number of moral failures.
  • It is part of the scar tissue of this nation's heritage.
  • Visitors can experience this heritage anywhere they happen to venture, whether shore or mountain, small village or city.
  • What one eats often depends on his or her family heritage.
British Dictionary definitions for heritage


something inherited at birth, such as personal characteristics, status, and possessions
anything that has been transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition
  1. the evidence of the past, such as historical sites, buildings, and the unspoilt natural environment, considered collectively as the inheritance of present-day society
  2. (as modifier; cap. as part of name): Bannockburn Heritage Centre
something that is reserved for a particular person or group or the outcome of an action, way of life, etc: the sea was their heritage, the heritage of violence
(law) any property, esp land, that by law has descended or may descend to an heir
  1. the Israelites regarded as belonging inalienably to God
  2. the land of Canaan regarded as God's gift to the Israelites
Word Origin
C13: from Old French; see heir
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 heritage

c.1200, "that which may be inherited," from Old French iritage, eritage, heritage, from heriter "inherit," from Late Latin hereditare, ultimately from Latin heres (genitive heredis) "heir" (see heredity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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