a. The action of inheriting something: the inheritance of property from a relative.
b. Something inherited or to be inherited: Her inheritance included a large estate.
2. Something regarded as a heritage: the cultural inheritance of Rome. See Synonyms at heritage.
a. The process of genetic transmission of characteristics from parent or ancestor to offspring.
b. A characteristic so inherited.
c. The sum of genetically transmitted characteristics.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.