Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to heredity or inheritance.
  • adjective Transmitted or capable of being transmitted genetically from parent to offspring.
  • adjective Passed down from one generation to the next.
  • adjective Being such or possessed by reason of birth.
  • adjective Capable of being inherited.
  • adjective Descending from an ancestor to a legal heir; passing down by inheritance.
  • adjective Having title or possession through inheritance.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In law: Descending by inheritance; transmitted or transmissible in the line of descent by force of law; passing to or held by an heir or heirs: as, a hereditary monarchy, office, or estate; hereditary privileges; hereditary bondage.
  • Holding by inheritance; deriving from ancestors by force of law, as rank, social condition, or property: as, a hereditary peer, proprietor, or bondman.
  • Pertaining to or resulting from successive generation; transmitted in a line of progeny; passing naturally from parent to offspring: as, hereditary descent; a hereditary line; hereditary features, qualities, or diseases.
  • Native; patrimonial; ancestral: as, one's hereditary home or occupation; a hereditary opinion or prejudice.
  • Acting from natal tendency or endowment; having inherited the character or qualifications of; being by force of birth: as, the Bachs were hereditary musicians; the Rothschilds are hereditary financiers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Descended, or capable of descending, from an ancestor to an heir at law; received or passing by inheritance, or that must pass by inheritance.
  • adjective Transmitted, or capable of being transmitted, as a constitutional quality or condition from a parent to a child.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective which is passed on as inheritance, by last will or intestate
  • adjective legally granted to somebody's descendant after that person's death.
  • adjective of a person holding a legally hereditary title or rank
  • adjective passed from a parent to offspring in the genes
  • noun A hereditary ruler; a hereditary peer in the House of Lords.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective occurring among members of a family usually by heredity
  • adjective inherited or inheritable by established rules (usually legal rules) of descent

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Latin hērēditārius, from hērēditās, inheritance; see heredity.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin hereditarius, from hereditas 'inheritance', from heres 'heir'

Examples

  • The term hereditary is applied to diseases such as hemophilia and characteristics such as the tendency toward baldness that pass from parents to children.

    hereditary

  • She was the direct descendant of the Great _Maguinoó_, or Prince of Luzon, a title hereditary, according to tradition.

    The Philippine Islands

  • Her brother was King James's Chief Cupbearer for Ireland, a title hereditary in the Butler family, as their name implies.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 3: Brownson-Clairvaux

  • Henry Slootmaker said he is on medical leave after a hospital stay for what he described as a hereditary nervous disorder.

    Latest News

  • Henry Slootmaker said he is on medical leave after a hospital stay for what he described as a hereditary nervous disorder.

    Latest News

  • We say they mainly originate in a creature through a sense of its needs, and vary through the varying surroundings which will cause those needs to vary, and through the opening up of new desires in many creatures, as the consequence of the gratification of old ones; they depend greatly on differences of individual capacity and temperament; they are communicated, and in the course of time transmitted, as what we call hereditary habits or structures, though these are only, in truth, intense and epitomised memories of how certain creatures liked to deal with protoplasm.

    Life and Habit

  • On the English side, it can now mean that too, but it also (especially with the prefix high‑) means “class” as in hereditary status.

    Feckless Youth

  • On the English side, it can now mean that too, but it also (especially with the prefix high‑) means “class” as in hereditary status.

    Feckless Youth

  • On the English side, it can now mean that too, but it also (especially with the prefix high‑) means “class” as in hereditary status.

    Feckless Youth

  • It is true that Morgan's combination rule, according to which certain hereditary dispositions are more or less firmly combined, limits to a large degree Mendel's second rule that, at the formation of new hereditary substances, the genes may be freely combined.

    Physiology or Medicine 1933 - Presentation Speech

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.