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v. in·her·it·ed, in·her·it·ing, in·her·its
a. To take (property) by law of descent from an intestate owner.
b. To receive (property) by will; receive by bequest or devise.
2. To receive or take over from a predecessor: The new administration inherited the economic problems of the last four years.
3. Biology To receive (a characteristic) from a parent or ancestor by genetic transmission.
4. To gain (something) as one's right or portion: "A certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" (King James Bible).
To hold or take possession of an inheritance.
[Middle English enheriten, from Old French enheriter, to make heir to, from Late Latin inhērēditāre, to inherit : Latin in-, in; see in-2 + Late Latin hērēditāre, to inherit (from Latin hērēs, hērēd-, heir; see ghē- in Indo-European roots).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.