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hereditary

[huh-red-i-ter-ee] /həˈrɛd ɪˌtɛr i/
adjective
1.
passing, or capable of passing, naturally from parent to offspring through the genes:
Blue eyes are hereditary in our family.
Compare congenital.
2.
of or relating to inheritance or heredity:
a hereditary title.
3.
existing by reason of feeling, opinions, or prejudices held by predecessors:
a hereditary enemy.
4.
Law.
  1. descending by inheritance.
  2. transmitted or transmissible in the line of descent by force of law.
  3. holding title, rights, etc., by inheritance:
    a hereditary proprietor.
5.
Mathematics.
  1. (of a collection of sets) signifying that each subset of a set in the collection is itself a set in the collection.
  2. of or relating to a mathematical property, as containing a greatest integer, applicable to every subset of a set that has the property.
Origin
late Middle English
1375-1425
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin hērēditārius relating to inheritance, equivalent to hērēdit(ās) inheritance, heredity + -ārius -ary
Related forms
hereditarily
[hi-red-i-tair-uh-lee, -red-i-ter-] /hɪˌrɛd ɪˈtɛər ə li, -ˈrɛd ɪˌtɛr-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
hereditariness, noun
nonhereditarily, adverb
nonhereditariness, noun
nonhereditary, adjective
quasi-hereditary, adjective
Can be confused
heritable, hereditary, inheritable (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1, 2. See innate. 3. ancestral, traditional.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hereditary
  • There is, unquestionably, a hereditary component to allergies.
  • The biggest known risk factors are smoking and family history-it can be a hereditary disease.
  • Prior to these experiments, protein was believed to hold our hereditary destiny.
  • When the motion comes on next session for an inquiry into hereditary pensions, there will be some curious disclosures.
  • Some prion diseases are caused by hereditary mutations in the gene encoding this protein.
  • Each varna in turn contains hundreds of hereditary castes and subcastes with their own pecking orders.
  • Which makes a molecular biology of cell machinery point, not an evolutionary hereditary one.
  • Scientists previously suspected that hereditary predisposition plays a role in some colon cancers.
  • Some have favoured a genetic, hereditary explanation.
  • Autism, which is influenced by hereditary and possibly environmental factors, cannot be an epidemic.
British Dictionary definitions for hereditary

hereditary

/hɪˈrɛdɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or denoting factors that can be transmitted genetically from one generation to another
2.
(law)
  1. descending or capable of descending to succeeding generations by inheritance
  2. transmitted or transmissible according to established rules of descent
3.
derived from one's ancestors; traditional: hereditary feuds
4.
(maths, logic)
  1. (of a set) containing all those elements which have a given relation to any element of the set
  2. (of a property) transferred by the given relation, so that if x has the property P and xRy, then y also has the property P
Derived Forms
hereditarily, adverb
hereditariness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hereditary
adj.

early 15c., hereditarie, from Latin hereditarius, from hereditas (see heredity).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hereditary in Medicine

hereditary he·red·i·tar·y (hə-rěd'ĭ-těr'ē)
adj.
Transmitted or capable of being transmitted genetically from parent to offspring.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hereditary in Science
hereditary
  (hə-rěd'ĭ-těr'ē)   
Passed or capable of being passed from parent to offspring by means of genes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
hereditary in Culture

hereditary definition


A descriptive term for conditions capable of being transmitted from parent to offspring through the genes. The term hereditary is applied to diseases such as hemophilia and characteristics such as the tendency toward baldness that pass from parents to children.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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