Could someone please explain to me what is the difference in meaning between heritage and inheritance and give an example of each? Thank you

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    This is an interesting question, and I hope you ask some more. That said, it would be nice if you expounded a little bit on what you already understand, and where you are still confused (that way, people won't spend time explaining something that your already know). For more about this feel free to have a look at this question, along with some of the answers there as well. Welcome aboard!
    – J.R.
    May 1, 2014 at 13:06
  • A related (but not duplicate) question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/17769/…
    – Hellion
    May 1, 2014 at 17:15
  • It's amazing the number of random answers –deleted and none–posted by 1 rep users who then go on to disappear.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 16, 2020 at 12:03

5 Answers 5


Both "heritage" and "inheritance" refer to things that you get from your parents or ancestors or others you have some association with, after their deaths. "Inheritance", when used literally, refers to money, real estate, or other tangible property. "Heritage" refers to intangible things, like ideals, knowledge, and moral standards.

For example, you might say, "My inheritance from my grandfather included $50,000 and a house in Virginia." But, "Our founding fathers left us a heritage of liberty and justice."

The verb "inherit" can be used for either idea. "I inherited my father's antique car collection." Or, "I inherited my father's love of baseball."

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    Or genetics: I inherited my mother's blue eyes.
    – J.R.
    May 1, 2014 at 13:01
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    "Heritage" can be used even if the people you got it from are still alive: "My parents have taught me a lot about my Hungarian heritage."
    – Martha
    May 1, 2014 at 15:44
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    @Martha You could quibble over that. In your example, your "Hungarian heritage" may have been taught to you by your mother, but she didn't "create" it -- that heritage is something passed down over many generations. Like if I say, "My teacher taught me calculus", I don't suppose that means the teacher invented it. If I said, "My family as a heritage of working in aviation", when the only person before me who worked in aviation was my father and he's still alive ... maybe, but I don't think most people would say that.
    – Jay
    May 1, 2014 at 20:17
  • @J.R. "or genetics": Quite true. Might be other things one could "inherit" too -- anything that you get from parents or mentors or other associated people.
    – Jay
    May 1, 2014 at 20:20

Heritage is something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth or heritage can refer to practices that are passed down through the years, from one generation to the next. While Inheritance is something that has quality, characteristics, or other immaterial possession, received from progenitors or predecessors.


I think heritage is deeper in meaning. It really has to do with the ideals, morals, way of living, godly or otherwise attributes passed down the line from one generation to another, while inheritance could mean material things inherited or equally passed down the line. Joshua passed down heritage in Joshua 24:15b. That was good.


By reason of birth do you possess a Heritage, by reason of death do you possess an Inheritance. Both Heritage and Inheritance can be material or immaterial possessions (the sun, moon, and stars are a heritage), but there is a more etheral quality to your Heritage and a more concrete quality to your Inheritance.


heritage is any property that is inherited from the past. heritage comes in different form natural and cultural heritage. the natural features like the sun, moon and any natural feature you know. cultural heritage can be intangible and tangible. the tangibility of cultural heritage centres on our experiencial source of knowledge. that is things we see, touch etc. so is food heritage? yes what ever may be the case, tangible heritage can be seen in our cultures. our dresses, food ect. are all tangible heritage. thank you.

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