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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Heir


HEIR, noun are. [Latin haeres, haeredis.]

1. The man who succeeds, or is to succeed another in the possession of lands, tenements and hereditaments, by descent; the man on whom the law casts an estate of inheritance by the death of the ancestor or former possessor; or the man in whom the title to an estate of inheritance is vested by the operation of law, on the death of a former owner.

We give the title to a person who is to inherit after the death of an ancestor, and during his life, as well as to the person who has actually come into possession. A man's children are his heirs. In most monarchies, the king's eldest son is heir to the throne; and a nobleman's eldest son is heir to his title.

Lo, one born in my house is my heir Genesis 15:3.

2. One who inherits, or takes from an ancestor. The son is often heir to the disease, or to the miseries of the father.

3. One who succeeds to the estate of a former possessor. Jeremiah 49:1. Micah 1:15.

4. One who is entitled to possess. In Scripture, saints are called heirs of the promise, heirs of righteousness, heirs of salvation, etc., by virtue of the death of Christ, or of God's gracious promises.

HEIR-presumptive, one who, if the ancestor should die immediately, would be heir but whose right of inheritance may be defeated by any contingency, as by the birth of a nearer relative.

HEIR, verb transitive are. To inherit; to take possession of an estate of inheritance, after the death of the ancestor.