An heir is a person who inherits wealth, power, or a position following another person’s death or decision to give up power:

  • Prince William is an heir to Queen Elizabeth. When she dies, he will probably become the King of England.
  • When the old owner of the company died, one his heirs took over the management of the business.
  • Believing he would one day inherit a lot of money as an heir to a vast fortune , Tony quit college and moved to California to become a surfer.
  • An heir to the throne was not apparent. This lead to serious conflict within the family.
  • An heiress to a rich European manufacturer walked into the jewelry store and purchased merchandise worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. (When the an heir is female, we use the word "heiress; however; heir can be applied to both men and women.)

Note: The pronunciation of the word "heir" is the same as it is for the word "air." The "h" in "heir" is silent.

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October 8, 2013