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acquired characteristic

noun
1.
a characteristic of an organism that results from increased use or disuse of an organ or the effects of the environment and cannot be inherited See also Lamarckism
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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acquired characteristic in Science
acquired characteristic
  (ə-kwīrd')   
A nonhereditary change of function or structure in a plant or animal made in response to the environment. Acquired characteristics include bodily changes brought about by disease or by repeated use or disuse of a body part (as in the building or atrophy of muscle tissue). The heritability of acquired characteristics was advocated by certain biological theorists like Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and rejected by Charles Darwin in his formulation of the theory of evolution.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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