Definition of heredity in English:

heredity

Line breaks: her¦ed|ity
Pronunciation: /hɪˈrɛdɪti
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1The passing on of physical or mental characteristics genetically from one generation to another: the relative influence of heredity and environment
    More example sentences
    • Long before we knew anything about the physical basis of heredity, factors or genes were identified in terms of their functional or phenotypic effects.
    • So, thousands of years before Gregor Mendel postulated his theories on genetics and heredity, indigenous Americans were breeding corn to select for desirable traits.
    • By the age of nineteen, in 1909, Muller had already become committed to genetics and to the chromosome theory of heredity.
    Synonyms
    congenital characteristics, congenital traits, genetics, genetic make-up, genes; ancestry, descent, extraction, parentage
  • 1.1A person’s ancestry: he wears a Cossack tunic to emphasize his Russian heredity
    More example sentences
    • The manner in which someone ages depends almost entirely on factors relating to heredity, physical and mental health, and nutrition.
    • If the development of a certain disease is due to heredity, then genetic researchers would expect more of the identical twins to share the disease as compared to the same-sex fraternal twins.
    • No studies on the respective roles of heredity and environment on the chemotype expression were performed.
  • 2The inheritance of a title, office, or right: a second chamber whose membership is largely based on heredity
    More example sentences
    • There is no longer venality or heredity of public office.
    • Power in the Mamluk realm was not based on heredity.
    • Neither could have inherited by heredity alone, since it was not clear that a woman was allowed to succeed, and both were illegitimate under English law.

Origin

late 18th century: from French hérédité, from Latin hereditas 'heirship', from heres, hered- 'heir'.

More definitions of heredity

Definition of heredity in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
noun
used to address an English nobleman