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From Middle English heres, from Old French eir, heir, from Latin hēres.



heir ‎(plural heirs)

  1. Someone who inherits, or is designated to inherit, the property of another.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      I am my father's heir and only son.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, The Unknown Ajax:
      And no use for anyone to tell Charles that this was because the Family was in mourning for Mr Granville Darracott […]: Charles might only have been second footman at Darracott Place for a couple of months when that disaster occurred, but no one could gammon him into thinking that my lord cared a spangle for his heir.
  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 (1688-1744)
      And I his heir in misery alone.
    • 1907, Robert W. Chambers, chapter I, The Younger Set:
      "I wish we were back in Tenth Street. But so many children came [] and the Tenth Street house wasn't half big enough; and 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. []"
    • 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.

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heir n ‎(plural heiren, diminutive heirtje n)

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

Derived termsEdit

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