Synonyms & Antonyms of hereditary

genetically passed or capable of being passed from parent to offspring
  • eye and hair color are hereditary

Synonyms for hereditary

Words Related to hereditary

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Antonyms for hereditary

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Frequently Asked Questions About hereditary

How is the word hereditary different from other adjectives like it?

Some common synonyms of hereditary are congenital, inborn, inbred, and innate. While all these words mean "not acquired after birth," congenital and hereditary refer to what is acquired before or at birth, the former to things acquired during fetal development and the latter to things transmitted from one's ancestors.

a congenital heart murmur

eye color is hereditary

When might inborn be a better fit than hereditary?

While the synonyms inborn and hereditary are close in meaning, inborn suggests a quality or tendency either actually present at birth or so marked and deep-seated as to seem so.

her inborn love of nature

When can inbred be used instead of hereditary?

The synonyms inbred and hereditary are sometimes interchangeable, but inbred suggests something either acquired from parents by heredity or so deeply rooted and ingrained as to seem acquired in that way.

inbred political loyalties

Where would innate be a reasonable alternative to hereditary?

While in some cases nearly identical to hereditary, innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature.

an innate sense of fair play

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The first known use of hereditary was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Hereditary.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hereditary

Nglish: Translation of hereditary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hereditary for Arabic Speakers


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