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



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Examples of heritable in a Sentence

heritable characteristics like skin and eye and hair color
Recent Examples on the Web Take, for instance, cladistic analysis, which identifies discrete, heritable anatomical features that can be compared between animals and that provide a statistical basis for testing hypotheses about the relationships of animals to one another. Matthew A. Brown, Scientific American, "The Real Dilophosaurus Would Have Eaten the Jurassic Park Version for Breakfast," 1 Jan. 2021 Mostly, this is caused by aging and lifestyle, but in some cases the disease is heritable. Oscar Schwartz, Washington Post, "A growing number of scientists believe that the cure for disease can be found in our DNA. But that poses a unique problem for some Native Americans.," 23 Nov. 2020 Growth is highly heritable and easy to measure, so traditional breeding works well. Erik Stokstad, Science | AAAS, "New genetic tools will deliver improved farmed fish, oysters, and shrimp. Here’s what to expect," 19 Nov. 2020 Catchability was a heritable trait—in other words, the researchers were able to breed bass that were harder to catch. Hal Schramm, Outdoor Life, "The Science on Why Bass Are Getting Harder to Catch," 12 Sep. 2020 No country explicitly permits heritable human genome editing, but many nations have no laws that address it at all. Megan Molteni, Wired, "In Embryos, Crispr Can Cut Out Whole Chromosomes—That's Bad," 29 Oct. 2020 The ability to identify the right things to be afraid of is a heritable trait in some species. Rebecca Giggs, The Atlantic, "Why We’re Afraid of Bats," 5 Oct. 2020 Germline editing, also known as heritable genome editing, creates changes that are inherited by subsequent generations. Josephine Johnston, STAT, "The U.S. must do some heavy lifting to prepare for heritable genome editing," 4 Sep. 2020 This one was international—with 18 members from 10 nations—and was assigned a less sprawling task: to set clear, explicit, scientific standards for heritable gene editing in humans. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Human Embryo Gene Editing Gets a Road Map—Not a Green Light," 3 Sep. 2020

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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Last Updated

3 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Heritable.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heritable. Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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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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