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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Primogeniture


PRIMOGEN'ITURE, noun [Latin primus, first, and genitus, begotten.

1. The state of being born first of the same parents; seniority by birth among children.

2. In law, the right which belongs to the eldest son or daughter. Thus in Great Britain, the right of inheriting the estate of the father belongs to the eldest son, and in the royal family, the eldest son of the king is entitled to the throne by primogeniture Among the females, the crown descends by right of primogeniture to the eldest daughter only and her issue.

Before the revolution, primogeniture in some of the American colonies, entitled the eldest son to a double portion of his father's estate, but this right has been abolished.