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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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

Editing the genes of embryos is more contentious than altering the genes of adults because those changes are heritable and can be passed on to future generations. Preetika Rana, WSJ, "WHO Reacts to Chinese Gene-Edited Twins With Plan for Global Guidelines," 21 Feb. 2019 Most scientists agree that genetic modification makes sense to prevents certain heritable diseases from being passed down. Radhika Viswanathan, Vox, "3 biological parents, 1 child, and an international controversy," 24 July 2018 But knowing that traits are heritable is different from showing which actual differences in DNA are responsible for them. Robert Plomin, WSJ, "Our Fortunetelling Genes," 15 Nov. 2018 Intelligence is heritable, and for a long time researchers assumed that people with high IQ scores would have kids that also scored above average. Rory Smith, CNN, "IQ scores are falling and have been for decades, new study finds," 13 June 2018 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

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 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

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Britannica English: Translation of heritable for Arabic Speakers

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