From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Heritage and héritage



Alternative forms




From Old French eritage, heritage, (French héritage), ultimately derived (through suffixation) from Latin hērēs.


  • IPA(key): /ˈhɛɹ.ɪ.tɪd͡ʒ/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Hyphenation: her‧i‧tage



heritage (countable and uncountable, plural heritages)

  1. An inheritance; property that may be inherited.
    • 1652, John Robotham, chapter III, in An Exposition: On the whole Book of Solomons Song; Commonly called The Canticles.[1], London, →OCLC, page 413:
      Now unſpeakable happy are all thoſe that have ſuch an heritage: can we thinke they will part with it? No verily, [] they will not part with ſuch an inheritance as Chriſt is, rich, fat, alwayes fruitfull, and never decaying.
  2. A tradition; a practice or set of values that is passed down from preceding generations through families or through institutional memory.
    • 1858, Thomas Carlyle, chapter XIII, in History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Called Frederick the Great, volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], →OCLC, book III, page 247:
      In fact it was a multifarious agglomerate of many little countries, gathered by marriage, heritage and luck, in the course of centuries, and now united in the hand of this Duke Wilhelm.
    • 1947, Norris E. Class, chapter VII, in Marjorie Bell, editor, Redirecting the Delinquent: 1947 Yearbook, New York: National Parole and Probation Association, page 234:
      The first is that learning, continuous learning, is an intrinsic part of the American tradition. In some ways it constitutes the core of our social heritage, and no doubt accounts for the tremendous organizational and productive achievements which have taken place in this country. However, it is possible to move away from, even to lose one's heritage.
    • 2007, J. N. Adams, “The Republic: inscriptions”, in The Regional Diversification of Latin 200 BC - AD 600, Cambridge University Press, page 105:
      When a language dies members of the culture of which that language was once a part may attempt to hold on to their linguistic heritage, if not by the use of the defunct language itself, at least by the preservation of its script.
  3. A birthright; the status acquired by birth, especially of but not exclusive to the firstborn.
  4. (attributive) Having a certain background, such as growing up with a second language.
    a heritage speaker; a heritage language
    The university requires heritage Spanish students to enroll in a specially designed Spanish program not available to non-heritage students.

Derived terms



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also