heredity

noun he·red·i·ty \ hə-ˈre-də-tē \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of heredity

2 a : the sum of the characteristics and potentialities genetically derived from one's ancestors
b : the transmission of such qualities from ancestor to descendant through the genes

Examples of heredity in a Sentence

  1. Heredity plays no part in the disease.

Recent Examples of heredity from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'heredity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of heredity

Middle French heredité, from Latin hereditat-, hereditas, from hered-, heres heir — more at heir


HEREDITY Defined for English Language Learners

heredity

noun

Definition of heredity for English Language Learners

  • : the natural process by which physical and mental qualities are passed from a parent to a child


HEREDITY Defined for Kids

heredity

noun he·red·i·ty \ hə-ˈre-də-tē \

Definition of heredity for Students

plural heredities
: the passing on of characteristics (as the color of the eyes or hair) from parents to offspring

Medical Dictionary

heredity

noun he·red·i·ty \ hə-ˈred-ət-ē \

medical Definition of heredity

plural heredities
1 : the sum of the qualities and potentialities genetically derived from one's ancestors
2 : the transmission of traits from ancestor to descendant through the molecular mechanism lying primarily in the DNA or RNA of the genes — compare meiosis


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up heredity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to dancing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!