verb (used with object)
- to take or receive (property, a right, a title, etc.) by succession or will, as an heir: to inherit the family business.
- to receive as if by succession from predecessors: the problems the new government inherited from its predecessors.
- to receive (a genetic character) by the transmission of hereditary factors.
- to succeed (a person) as heir.
- to receive as one’s portion; come into possession of: to inherit his brother’s old clothes.
verb (used without object)
- to take or receive property or the like by virtue of being heir to it.
- to receive qualities, powers, duties, etc., as by inheritance (followed by from).
- to have succession as heir.
verb -its, -iting or -ited
- to receive (property, a right, title, etc) by succession or under a will
- (intr) to succeed as heir
- (tr) to possess (a characteristic) through genetic transmission
- (tr) to receive (a position, attitude, property, etc) from a predecessor
c.1300, “to make (someone) an heir,” from Old French enheriter “make heir, appoint as heir,” from Late Latin inhereditare “to appoint as heir,” from Latin in- “in” (see in- (2)) + hereditare “to inherit,” from heres (genitive heredis) “heir” (see heredity). Sense of “receive inheritance” arose mid-14c.; original sense is retained in disinherit. Related: Inherited; inheriting.
- To receive a trait from one’s parents by genetic transmission.