1. Property that is or can be inherited; an inheritance.
2. Something that is passed down from preceding generations; a tradition.
3. The status acquired by a person through birth; a birthright: a heritage of affluence and social position.
4. A domesticated animal or a crop of a traditional breed, usually not widely produced for commercial purposes.
[Middle English, from Old French, from eritier, heir, from Medieval Latin hērēditārius, from Latin, inherited; see HEREDITARY.]
Synonyms: heritage, inheritance, legacy, tradition
These nouns denote something immaterial, such as a practice or custom, that is passed from one generation to another: a heritage of volunteerism; a rich inheritance of storytelling; a legacy of philosophical thought; the family tradition of going for a walk on Thanksgiving.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.