1. something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition: a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage.
  2. something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion: a heritage of poverty and suffering.
  3. something reserved for one: the heritage of the righteous.
  4. Law.
    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.


  1. noting or relating to a product, place, etc., that evokes a nostalgic sense of tradition or history: visitors to a heritage site in the Middle East.
  2. noting or relating to an older, traditional breed of animal or plant: raising pure-breed heritage hogs.Compare heirloom(def 3).


  1. something inherited at birth, such as personal characteristics, status, and possessions
  2. 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
  3. something that is reserved for a particular person or group or the outcome of an action, way of life, etcthe sea was their heritage; the heritage of violence
  4. law any property, esp land, that by law has descended or may descend to an heir
  5. Bible
    1. the Israelites regarded as belonging inalienably to God
    2. the land of Canaan regarded as God’s gift to the Israelites

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).

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