heritability

noun
her·​i·​ta·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌher-ə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē How to pronounce heritability (audio) , ˌhe-rə- \

Definition of heritability

1 : the quality or state of being heritable
2 : the proportion of observed variation in a particular trait (such as height) that can be attributed to inherited genetic factors in contrast to environmental ones

Examples of heritability in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s on par with the heritability of cognitive traits like IQ in people, MacLean says. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, 17 Mar. 2021 The mystery of missing heritability dates back to the late-2000s, when researchers began to use new tools to scan human genomes for common markers linked to diseases and traits. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, 3 Nov. 2020 Susan Kay Murphy, an epigeneticist who studies gynecological malignancies at the Duke University Medical Center, is currently focused on the effects of cannabis exposure on sperm, and their heritability. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, 31 July 2020 McLean says dog breeds may be an ideal way to study the heritability of cognitive traits because breeds—all part of the same species—represent close genetic relatives with an incredibly diverse range of appearances and behaviors. Viviane Callier, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 July 2020 Though their heritability varies, the traits, if already present in the DNA, are more likely to be expressed if the person suffers abuse in their earliest years. Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2020 Since then, studies have shown autism runs in families and have put its heritability at around 80 percent, or about as heritable as height or eye color. Nicholette Zeliadt, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2020 Researchers in Sweden and Minnesota had compared anorexia rates in identical and fraternal twins, a common approach to tease out heritability of complex traits and diseases. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, 9 Apr. 2020 Equation 1 summarizes a vast amount of literature on subjective well-being, starting with the question of the heritability of happiness. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 9 Apr. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of heritability

1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heritability

herit(able) + -ability

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About heritability

Time Traveler for heritability

Time Traveler

The first known use of heritability was in 1832

See more words from the same year

Statistics for heritability

Cite this Entry

“Heritability.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heritability. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for heritability

heritability

noun
her·​i·​ta·​bil·​i·​ty | \ ˌher-ət-ə-ˈbil-ət-ē How to pronounce heritability (audio) \
plural heritabilities

Medical Definition of heritability

1 : the quality or state of being heritable
2 : the proportion of observed variation in a particular trait (as intelligence) that can be attributed to inherited genetic factors in contrast to environmental ones

More from Merriam-Webster on heritability

Britannica English: Translation of heritability for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heritability

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!