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



    BrE BrE//ɪnˈherɪtəns//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈherɪtəns//
    Family background
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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] the money, property, etc. that you receive from somebody when they die; the fact of receiving something when somebody dies She spent all her inheritance in a year. The title passes by inheritance to the eldest son. She came into (= received) her inheritance at eighteen. CollocationsFinanceIncome earn money/​cash/(informal) a fortune make money/​a fortune/(informal) a killing on the stock market acquire/​inherit/​amass wealth/​a fortune build up funds/​savings get/​receive/​leave (somebody) an inheritance/​a legacy live on a low wage/​a fixed income/​a pension get/​receive/​draw/​collect a pension depend/​be dependent on (British English) benefits/(North American English) welfare/​social securityExpenditure spend money/​your savings/(informal) a fortune on… invest/​put your savings in… throw away/​waste/ (informal) shell out money on… lose your money/​inheritance/​pension use up/ (informal) wipe out all your savings pay (in) cash use/​pay by a credit/​debit card pay by/​make out a/​write somebody a/​accept a (British English) cheque/(US English) check change/​exchange money/​currency/(British English) traveller’s cheques/(US English) traveler’s checks give/​pay/​leave (somebody) a depositBanks have/​hold/​open/​close/​freeze a bank account/​an account credit/​debit/​pay something into/​take money out of your account deposit money/​funds in your account withdraw money/​cash/£30 from an ATM, etc. (formal) make a deposit/​withdrawal find/​go to/​use (especially North American English) an ATM/(British English) a cash machine/​dispenser be in credit/​in debit/​in the black/​in the red/​overdrawnPersonal finance manage/​handle/​plan/​run/ (especially British English) sort out your finances plan/​manage/​work out/​stick to a budget offer/​extend credit (to somebody) arrange/​take out a loan/​an overdraft pay back/​repay money/​a loan/​a debt pay for something in (especially British English) instalments/(usually North American English) installmentsFinancial difficulties get into debt/​financial difficulties be short of/ (informal) be strapped for cash run out of/​owe money face/​get/ (informal) be landed with a bill for £… can’t afford the cost of…/payments/​rent fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the mortgage/​repayments/​rent incur/​run up/​accumulate debts tackle/​reduce/​settle your debts See related entries: Family background
  2. 2[uncountable, countable, usually singular] something from the past or from your family that affects the way you behave, look, etc. our cultural inheritance Physical characteristics are determined by genetic inheritance.
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (formerly also as enheritance): from Anglo-Norman French enheritaunce ‘being admitted as heir’, from Old French enheriter, from late Latin inhereditare ‘appoint as heir’, from Latin in- ‘in’ + heres, hered- ‘heir’.Extra examples He had a large inheritance from his parents. Jealous relatives tried to challenge her inheritance. She left him an inheritance of £100 000. The Earl of Arundel’s heir was restored to his inheritance and granted the lordship of Chirk. The inhabitants share a common inheritance of language and culture. The inheritance was divided equally among all the sons. The system involved inheritance by the eldest son. Under their law, all children shared in the inheritance. When he was 21 he came into a large inheritance. When his father died, he returned to England to claim his inheritance. inheritance through marriage the influence of the classical inheritance on Renaissance thought She came into her inheritance at eighteen. We are proud of our cultural inheritance.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: inheritance

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