One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural heirs presumptive
An heir whose claim could be set aside by the birth of another heir.Compare with heir apparent
successor, heiress, next in line, inheritor, heir apparent, heir-at-law, descendant, beneficiary, legatee, scionView synonyms
- ‘At the time, although James' position as Duke of York and heir presumptive was tenuous, the ‘alliance’ was still technically and completely inappropriate, as Anne was not even the daughter of a peer.’
- ‘For fifteen years William, duke of Normandy, had been his heir presumptive.’
- ‘After considerable hesitation, not least by her father who feared that his daughter's marriage to the heir presumptive would make him unpopular, the couple were accepted at court.’
- ‘As the year wore on and the King gave every indication of wanting to be the third husband living, the crisis deepened and he locked his younger brother and heir presumptive out of both his private and public life.’
- ‘Still regarding himself as the heir presumptive to the French throne, he became the sworn enemy of the French regent, the Duke of Orleans.’
- ‘During the first years of her brother's reign, Isabella and her younger brother Alfonso, who was considered Henry's heir presumptive, lived with their mother away from Court.’
- ‘The impatience of the heir presumptive most notoriously surfaced at a breakfast hosted by the Guardian last November.’
- ‘Her father succeeded to the throne in 1936, when she became heir presumptive - a change to which she adjusted with astonishing aplomb.’
- ‘When the death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, in 1447 made York heir presumptive to the throne, he was made lord lieutenant of Ireland to keep him safely away from the temptation to take the throne from the weak king.’
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