her·​i·​ta·​ble | \ ˈher-ə-tə-bəl How to pronounce heritable (audio) , ˈhe-rə- \

Definition of heritable

1 : capable of being inherited or of passing by inheritance

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Examples of heritable in a Sentence

heritable characteristics like skin and eye and hair color
Recent Examples on the Web There are roughly 14,000 known genetic diseases in humans, ranging from childhood-onset diseases such as PKU and congenital heart disease to adult-onset conditions such as Huntington’s disease and heritable forms of cancer. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "23 and Baby," 24 Dec. 2019 High levels of toxins, some of which are heritable, were discovered in bottlenose dolphins in the Normano-Breton Gulf, and antibiotic resistance continued to rise among bottlenose dolphins in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 25 Nov. 2019 Similar surprisingly heritable traits include a child’s tendency to be bullied at school (more than 70%) or to be accident-prone (51%). The Economist, "Modern genetics will improve health and usher in “designer” children," 7 Nov. 2019 The 40 to 70 percent of obesity that is thought to be heritable (Loos finds 50 percent to be a reasonable estimate) is operating primarily in deliciousness territory, not in metabolism territory. Tamar Haspel, Washington Post, "Why you should be skeptical about diets tailored for your DNA," 21 Oct. 2019 But in the 1950s, the botanist Royal Alexander Brink discovered that, under different environmental conditions, maize plants with identical genomes expressed different-colored kernels, and these colors were heritable. quantamagazine.org, "Inherited Learning? It Happens, but How Is Uncertain," 16 Oct. 2019 This behavior, called Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH), is heritable and a key target for breeders. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "Breeders toughen up bees to resist deadly mites," 25 July 2019 Statistical research on Swedish twins by Tove Fall of Uppsala University and others suggests that more than half of the propensity to own dogs is heritable. The Economist, "Pet-ownership is booming across the world," 22 June 2019 Strong support comes from the fact that our sensitivity to loneliness is heritable, like height or risk of diabetes — about 50 percent of an individual’s level of loneliness can be tied to their genes. Quanta Magazine, "New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness," 10 May 2016

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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Time Traveler for heritable

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

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Statistics for heritable

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Heritable.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heritable. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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How to pronounce heritable (audio)

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 How to pronounce heritable (audio) \

Medical Definition of heritable

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


her·​i·​ta·​ble | \ ˈher-ə-tə-bəl How to pronounce heritable (audio) \

Legal Definition of heritable

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heritable

Britannica English: Translation of heritable for Arabic Speakers

Comments on heritable

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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