AskDefine | Define inherited

Dictionary Definition

inherited adj : tending to occur among members of a family usually by heredity; "an inherited disease"; "familial traits"; "genetically transmitted features" [syn: familial, genetic, hereditary, transmitted, transmissible]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. past of inherit

Extensive Definition

To inherit something is to get it from one's ancestors through legal succession (e.g., "inherit the throne"), or through a bequest (e.g., "inherited money from his deceased aunt"), or from genetic transmission (e.g., "inherited color-blindness from his father"). As a related definition, it can mean to take power or possession due to a perceived right or dominating ability to do so (e.g., "Their children's children will inherit the earth"; or, "The nobility of the invading tribe will inherit the ruling-caste positions of Xopanthia").
As a further related definition, it can also mean — in a more general sense — to derive a characteristic from people, groups or objects which were influential at some time in the past, even if such people/groups/objects are not "ancestral" to those who receive the characteristic (as in, for example, "The Western Europeans, during the Middle Ages, inherited the learning of the Arabs by translating many of their important writings").
Other specific meanings and related articles:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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