/air"loohm'/, n.
1. a family possession handed down from generation to generation.
2. Law. property neither personal nor real that descends to the heir of an estate as part of the real property.
3. being an old variety that is being cultivated again: heirloom vegetables and fruits.
[1375-1425; late ME heirlome. See HEIR, LOOM1]

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      an item of personal property that by immemorial usage is regarded as annexed by inheritance to a family estate. The owner of such an heirloom may dispose of it during his lifetime, but he cannot bequeath it by will away from the estate. If he dies intestate (without a will), the object goes to his heir at law; otherwise it goes to whoever takes the estate under his will. Such heirlooms are now almost unknown, but the word has acquired a secondary and popular meaning of items of special, endearing value, such as furniture or pictures, handed down from one generation to the next.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • heirloom — heir‧loom [ˈeəluːm ǁ ˈer ] noun [countable] a valuable object that has been owned by a family for many years and that is passed, for example, from grandfather to father to son: • The clock is a family heirloom. * * * heirloom UK US /ˈeəluːm/ noun …   Financial and business terms

  • heirloom — index bequest, hereditament Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 heirloom …   Law dictionary

  • heirloom — ► NOUN ▪ a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations. ORIGIN from HEIR(Cf. ↑heirship) + LOOM(Cf. ↑loom) (in the former senses tool, heirloom ) …   English terms dictionary

  • Heirloom — Heir loom , n. [Heir + loom, in its earlier sense of implement, tool. See {Loom} the frame.] Any furniture, movable, or personal chattel, which by law or special custom descends to the heir along with the inheritance; any piece of personal… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • heirloom — early 15c., ayre lome, a hybrid from HEIR (Cf. heir) + LOOM (Cf. loom) in its original but now otherwise obsolete sense of implement, tool. Technically, some piece of property that by will or custom passes down with the real estate …   Etymology dictionary

  • heirloom — [n] something inherited, often antique antique, bequest, birthright, gift, heritage, inheritance, legacy, patrimony, reversion; concept 337 …   New thesaurus

  • heirloom — [er′lo͞om΄] n. [ME heir lome: see HEIR & LOOM1] 1. a piece of personal property that goes to an heir along with an estate 2. any treasured possession handed down from generation to generation …   English World dictionary

  • Heirloom — In popular usage, an heirloom is something, perhaps an antique, that has been passed down for generations through family members.The term originated with the historical principle of an heirloom in English law, a chattel which by immemorial usage… …   Wikipedia

  • heirloom — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ family ▪ precious HEIRLOOM + VERB ▪ be passed down, come down ▪ The brooch is a family heirloom which came down to her from her grandmother …   Collocations dictionary

  • heirloom — n. a family; priceless heirloom * * * [ eəluːm] priceless heirloom a family …   Combinatory dictionary

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