Merriam-Webster Online Dictionaryheirloom (noun)
a piece of property that descends to the heir as an inseparable part of an inheritance of real property
something of special value handed on from one generation to another
a horticultural variety that has survived for several generations usually due to the efforts of private individuals
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In popular usage, an heirloom is something that has been passed down for generations through family members. Examples are a Family Bible, antiques, weapons or jewelry.
The term originated with the historical principle of an heirloom in English law, a chattel which by immemorial usage was regarded as annexed by inheritance to a family estate. Loom originally meant a tool. Such genuine heirlooms were almost unknown by the beginning of the twentieth century.