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

As Nick Carne writes for Cosmos, researchers from the University of Helsinki drew on data detailing around 5,726 cats’ behavior to identify patterns among breeds and gauge heritability. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Your Cat’s Attitude Actually Is Closely Linked to Its Breed, Survey Shows," 19 June 2019 Experts aren’t yet sure of which specific genes may be involved in bipolar disorder heritability, but having a parent or sibling with the condition can increase your risk, according to the NIMH. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Things to Know About the Surprisingly Subtle Hypomanic Episodes of Bipolar Disorder," 30 Nov. 2018 That high level of assortative mating was massively inflating the heritability estimate. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Genetics play less of a role in lifespan than we thought," 8 Nov. 2018 But for cystic fibrosis, another such condition, heritability was only 1%. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Family trees hidden in medical records could predict your disease risk," 17 May 2018 The researchers then overlaid those trees with information on each individual’s health conditions, gleaned from billing codes and lab tests, and used the combined data to estimate the heritability of about 500 traits and diseases. Jocelyn Kaiser, Science | AAAS, "Family trees hidden in medical records could predict your disease risk," 17 May 2018 The idea that intelligence is highly malleable also jars with research on its heritability. The Economist, "How and why to search for young Einsteins," 22 Mar. 2018 But according to senior author and Harvard epidemiologist Karestan Koenen, those findings only inferred heritability. Lacy Schley, Discover Magazine, "Genetic Roots of PTSD," 1 Feb. 2018 Psychopathy heritability is probably between 50-70 percent. Lynn Johnson, National Geographic, "How Fear Makes You Do Good Or Evil," 3 Jan. 2018

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

Statistics for heritability

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heritability

The first known use of heritability was in 1832

See more words from the same year

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

Comments on heritability

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!