From Middle English heres, from Old French eir, heir, from Latin hēres (genitive hēredis).



heir (plural heirs)

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  1. Someone who inherits, or is designated to inherit, the property of another.
    • Shakespeare
      I am my father's heir and only son.
  2. One who inherits, or has been designated to inherit, a hereditary title or office.
  3. A successor in a role, representing continuity with the predecessor.
    • Alexander Pope
      And I his heir in misery alone.
    • 1907, Robert Chambers, chapter 1/2, The Younger Set[1]:
      “[…] a dreadful speculative builder built this house and persuaded Austin to buy it. Oh dear, and here we are among the rich and great ; and the steel kings and copper kings and oil kings and their heirs and dauphins. Do you like the house ?”
    • 2013 May 11, “What a waste”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 12: 
      India is run by gerontocrats and epigones: grey hairs and groomed heirs.

Related termsEdit


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heir n (plural heiren, diminutive heirtje n)

  1. (archaic) Alternative spelling of heer (army).

Derived termsEdit

  • heirbaan
  • heirkracht
  • heirmacht
  • heirschare
Last modified on 28 March 2014, at 04:23