Definition of heiress in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈɛːrəs//ɛːˈrɛs/


  • 1A woman who is legally entitled to the property or rank of another on that person's death.

    ‘an oil heiress’
    ‘she was heiress to a $32 million textile fortune’
    • ‘In 1906, Hyde went into exile in Paris, where he married and divorced a succession of American heiresses, returning to New York only in 1941.’
    • ‘To do her justice, the hotel heiress does a competent job of the task required of her.’
    • ‘They decide to target a rich heiress who is turning 21 and stands to inherit fifty million dollars.’
    • ‘The plot is about a pair of cosmetic company heiresses who lose their family fortune.’
    • ‘A woman without brothers could inherit a life-interest in her family's land but unless she married a close cousin - as many such heiresses did - she could not pass the estate on to her children.’
    • ‘In medieval England, a rape law existed, but according to Anna Clark, it was primarily formulated to deal with abduction and the illicit marriage of heiresses.’
    • ‘Indeed the law obliged heiresses on their father's death to marry his closest available relative, even if it meant divorcing their current spouse, to keep property intact.’
    • ‘It is the same too, in London; there are plenty of penniless men who marry wealthy heiresses instead of seeking out their own living.’
    • ‘Kerry, whose family glory lies in an illustrious and historic past, has worked energetically to secure his place in the upper reaches of American society, and twice married heiresses.’
    • ‘In the Anglo-Saxon legal tradition women were unambiguously bearers of such rights, whether as heiresses - in the absence of male heirs - or by right of marriage or as the beneficiaries of gifts.’
    • ‘This rule of thumb, creatively applied (you won't be encountering many actual imperial heiresses or prostitutes), could be used to address virtually every circumstance you're likely to encounter this week.’
    • ‘No one likes to hear about heiresses unless they're in danger.’
    • ‘What if all these old heiresses of the script die one day?’
    • ‘By marrying successively two second cousins, who were themselves heiresses of the same grocery business, he consolidated his fortune to the benefit of his collection, since both marriages were childless.’
    • ‘I'm one of the richest heiresses in all of Europe.’
    • ‘And so began a saga exploding with murder, robbery… and the kidnapping of a media heiress.’
    • ‘Of course, it is not obligatory for young heirs and heiresses to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.’
    • ‘He not only had offices at his disposal, he also had heirs, heiresses, and widows.’
    • ‘Prosecutors said after investigating the eccentric heiress there was not enough evidence to convict her of petty theft.’
    • ‘Most spectacular in this period, however, were the marriages of European nobles to the heiresses of American millionaires.’
    heir, inheritor, legatee
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A woman inheriting and continuing the legacy of a predecessor.
      ‘she is the heiress of the talent of her mother and grandmother’