her·i·ta·ble | \ˈher-ə-tə-bəl, ˈhe-rə-\

Definition of heritable 

1 : capable of being inherited or of passing by inheritance

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Synonyms & Antonyms for heritable


genetic (also genetical), hereditary, inborn, inheritable, inherited



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Examples of heritable in a Sentence

heritable characteristics like skin and eye and hair color

Recent Examples on the Web

Working with a Jordanian couple who had lost six babies — two in infancy, four in miscarriages — to Leigh syndrome, a heritable neurological disorder, Zhang put to practical use a procedure that others had dared to try only on animals. Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post, "This fertility doctor is pushing the boundaries of human reproduction, with little regulation," 14 May 2018 That provided justification for professional analysis of Yuna’s gene to determine if there was a heritable mutation the Lees could have also transmitted to their second child. Pam Belluck, New York Times, "Infinitesimal Odds: A Scientist Finds Her Child’s Rare Illness Stems From the Gene She Studies," 23 Apr. 2018 This finding suggests that the antibodies are heritable risk factors for autism. Nicholette Zeliadt, Washington Post, "Taking folic acid may lower the risk of autism and ease features of the condition," 2 Apr. 2018 Eugenics is often defined as the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "U-M strips name of former president, eugenics supporter from science building," 29 Mar. 2018 Intelligence is highly heritable and perhaps the best predictor of success. The Economist, "How and why to search for young Einsteins," 22 Mar. 2018 Brother, sister, or cousin pairs can lead to heritable diseases and other problems with genetic diversity. Ellen Airhart, WIRED, "These Conservationists Are Desperate to Defrost Snake Sperm," 13 Mar. 2018 How can this be, given that intelligence is highly heritable, and clever folk breed no more prolifically than less gifted ones? The Economist, "A future perfectSteven Pinker’s case for optimism," 24 Feb. 2018 An example would be a heritable condition called sacrocaudal dysgenesis, seen in Manx cats. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "Yes, your cats can benefit from rehab. Just don’t push them | The Sacramento Bee," 7 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of heritable

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for heritable

Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, from heriter "to inherit, make an heir" + -able -able — more at heritage

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The first known use of heritable was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of heritable

: able to be passed from parent to child before birth

law : able to be passed from a parent or older relative to a child


her·i·ta·ble | \ˈher-ət-ə-bəl \

Medical Definition of heritable 

: hereditary one of several heritable childhood cancers— W. K. Cavenee et al


her·i·ta·ble | \ˈher-ə-tə-bəl \

Legal Definition of heritable 

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