Definition of heir noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//eə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//er//
    Use an, not a, before heir. heir (to something) | heir (of somebody) Family background
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  1. 1a person who has the legal right to receive somebody’s property, money or title when that person dies to be heir to a large fortune the heir to the throne (= the person who will be the next king or queen) the son and heir of the Earl of Lancaster Wordfinderadopt, child, family, generation, heir, in-laws, parent, relation, stepfamily, surrogate mother See related entries: Family background
  2. 2a person who is thought to continue the work or a tradition started by somebody else the president’s political heirs More Like This Silent letters gnarled, gnash, gnat, gnaw, gnome haute cuisine, heir, (NAmE herb), honour, hors d’oeuvre, hour knack, knee, kneel, knife, knight, knit, knob, knock, knot, know, knuckle psalm, psephology, psychic, ptarmigan, pterodactyl, psychology wrangle, wrap, wreath, wreck, wrench, wrestle, wriggle, wring, write, wrong bomb, climb, crumb, doubt, lamb, limb ascent, fascinate, muscle, scene, scissors height, right, sleigh, weight align, campaign, design, foreign, malign, reign, unfeigned balmy, calm, calf, half, yolk autumn, column, condemn, damn, hymn, solemn bristle, fasten, listen, mortgage, soften, thistle, wrestle biscuit, build, circuit, disguise, guilty, league, rogue, vague yacht answer, sword, twoSee worksheet.
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin heres.Extra examples At the age of twenty he fell heir to a large estate. He has no heir to leave his fortune to. He is the sole heir to a large mining fortune. He left most of his property to his eldest son and heir. He planned to marry and produce an heir for his estate. He’s the future heir to the throne. On his brother’s death he became heir apparent to the title. On his deathbed he named his second son as his heir. The house was her spiritual home for which she sought a spiritual heir. The socialists saw themselves as true heirs of the Enlightenment. When the Earl of Surrey died in 1347 he left no direct heir.
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