English edit

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Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English heir, from Anglo-Norman eir, heir, from Latin hērēs.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

heir (plural heirs, feminine heiress)

  1. Someone who inherits, or is designated to inherit, the property of another.
    Synonyms: (law) beneficiary, inheritor
    • c. 1590–1592 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Taming of the Shrew”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene i]:
      I am my father's heir and only son.
    • 1765, William Blackstone, “Of Corporations”, in Commentaries on the Laws of England, book I (Of the Rights of Persons), Oxford, Oxfordshire: [] Clarendon Press, →OCLC, page 469:
      As to eleemoſynary corporations, by the dotation the founder and his heirs are of common right the legal viſitors, to ſee that that property is rightly employed, which would otherwiſe have deſcended to the viſitor himſelf: []
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in 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.
    • 2023 January 16, Evan Osnos, “The Getty Family’s Trust Issues”, in The New Yorker[1], New York, N.Y.: Condé Nast Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-09-16:
      In ancient Greece, the Spartans developed rules that consolidated property into a narrow class of heirs, while the growing population of people left behind were reclassified as hypomeiones—inferiors.
  2. One who inherits, or has been designated to inherit, a hereditary title or office.
    Synonym: inheritor
    Coordinate term: spare
    As the heir to the British throne, the Prince of Wales is a very public figure.
  3. A successor in a role, representing continuity with the predecessor.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:successor

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

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Verb edit

heir (third-person singular simple present heirs, present participle heiring, simple past and past participle heired)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To inherit.
    • 1950, quoted in Our Garst family in America (page 27)
      [] Leonard Houtz & John Myer to be executors to this my last will & testament & lastly my children shall heir equally, one as much as the other.

See also edit

Anagrams edit

Dutch edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

heir n (plural heiren, diminutive heirtje n)

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

Derived terms edit

Middle English edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Anglo-Norman heir, aire (Old French eir), from Latin hēres (heir).

Noun edit

heir (plural heires)

  1. heir
Alternative forms edit
Descendants edit
  • English: heir
  • Scots: heir
  • Welsh: aer

References edit

Etymology 2 edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of her (hair)

Etymology 3 edit

Noun edit


  1. Alternative form of here (army)

Etymology 4 edit

Pronoun edit


  1. Alternative form of hire (her)

Etymology 5 edit

Noun edit

heir (plural heires or heiren)

  1. Alternative form of here (haircloth)

Etymology 6 edit

Adverb edit


  1. Alternative form of her (here)

Etymology 7 edit

Determiner edit


  1. Alternative form of here (their)