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: the sum of the characteristics and potentialities genetically derived from one's ancestors
: the transmission of such qualities from ancestor to descendant through the genes
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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.
circa 1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French heredité, borrowed from Latin hērēditāt-, hērēditās "inheritance," from hērēd-, hērēs heir entry 1 + -itāt-, -itās -ity
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Resources for heredity
14 Nov 2018
Time Traveler for heredity
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More Definitions for heredity
: the natural process by which physical and mental qualities are passed from a parent to a child
See the full definition for heredity in the English Language Learners Dictionary
: the passing on of characteristics (as the color of the eyes or hair) from parents to offspring
: the sum of the qualities and potentialities genetically derived from one's ancestors
: the transmission of traits from ancestor to descendant through the molecular mechanism lying primarily in the DNA or RNA of the genes — compare meiosis
More from Merriam-Webster on heredity
Spanish Central: Translation of heredity
Nglish: Translation of heredity for Spanish Speakers
Britannica English: Translation of heredity for Arabic Speakers
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heredity
Comments on heredity
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a private place of worship
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