hereditary

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adjective he·red·i·tary \hə-ˈre-də-ˌter-ē\

Definition of hereditary

  1. 1a biology :  genetically transmitted or transmittable from parent to offspring <The disease is hereditary.>b :  characteristic of or fostered by one's predecessors <a hereditary feud>

  2. 2a :  received or passing by inheritance or required to pass by inheritance or by reason of birth <hereditary wealth>b :  having title (see 1title 8a) or possession through inheritance or by reason of birth <hereditary nobility>

  3. 3 :  of a kind established by tradition <hereditary enemies>

  4. 4 :  of or relating to inheritance or heredity <unless he had the hereditary dispositions which he has, he would not behave the way he does — Arthur Pap>

hereditarily

play \hə-ˌre-də-ˈter-ə-lē\ adverb

Examples of hereditary in a sentence

  1. He suffers from a rare hereditary condition.

  2. <eye and hair color are hereditary>

Origin and Etymology of hereditary

Middle English hereditarie, from Latin hereditarius, from hereditas


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of hereditary

innate, inborn, inbred, congenital, hereditary mean not acquired after birth. innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature <an innate sense of fair play>. inborn suggests a quality or tendency either actually present at birth or so marked and deep-seated as to seem so <her inborn love of nature>. inbred suggests something either acquired from parents by heredity or so deeply rooted and ingrained as to seem acquired in that way <inbred political loyalties>. congenital and hereditary refer to what is acquired before or at birth, the former to things acquired during fetal development and the latter to things transmitted from one's ancestors <a congenital heart murmur> <eye color is hereditary>.

Other Genetics Terms


HEREDITARY Defined for English Language Learners

hereditary

play
adjective he·red·i·tary \hə-ˈre-də-ˌter-ē\

Definition of hereditary for English Language Learners

  • : passed or able to be passed from parent to child before birth

  • : passing from a person who has died to that person's child or younger relative

  • : holding a position or title that was passed on from your parent or an older relative


HEREDITARY Defined for Kids

hereditary

play
adjective he·red·i·tary \hə-ˈre-də-ˌter-ē\

Definition of hereditary for Students

  1. 1 :  capable of being passed from parent to offspring <hereditary disease>

  2. 2 :  received or passing from an ancestor to an heir


Medical Dictionary

hereditary

play
adjective he·red·i·tary \hə-ˈred-ə-ˌter-ē\

Medical Definition of hereditary

  1. 1:  genetically transmitted or transmittable from parent to offspring—compare acquired 1, congenital 2, familial

  2. 2:  of or relating to inheritance or heredity

hereditarily

\-ˌred-ə-ˈter-ə-lē\play adverb

Law Dictionary

hereditary

play
adjective he·red·i·tary \hə-ˈre-də-ˌter-ē\

Legal Definition of hereditary

  1. 1 :  received or passing by inheritance or required to pass by inheritance <hereditary shares>

  2. 2 :  having ownership or possession through inheritance

Origin and Etymology of hereditary

Latin hereditarius, from hereditas inheritance, from hered-, heres heir



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