Definitions

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

  • n. The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to offspring.
  • n. The sum of characteristics and associated potentialities transmitted genetically to an individual organism.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Hereditary transmission of the physical and genetic qualities of parents to their offspring; the biological law by which living beings tend to repeat their characteristics in their descendants.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Hereditary transmission of the physical and psychical qualities of parents to their offspring; the biological law by which living beings tend to repeat their characteristics in their descendants. See pangenesis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Hereditarydescent or transmission, as of physical or mental qualities; hereditary succession or influence.
  • n. Specifically, in biology: The influence of parents upon offspring; transmission of qualities or characteristics, mental or physical, from parents to offspring. See atavism.
  • n. The principle or fact of inheritance, or the transmission of physical and mental characteristics from parent to offspring, regarded as the conservative factor in evolution, opposing the tendency to variation under conditions of environment.
  • n. Metaphorically, that which makes living beings inherit; the explanation or cause of the kinship or resemblance to ancestors which living beings exhibit, or the force or agent or principle that brings about this kinship or resemblance.
  • n. Metaphorically, the substratum or support or bearer or giver or cause of inheritance: that which makes the offspring to be like its parents or ancestors. This meaning (which depends upon an uncritical use of the word substance, and upon the opinion that we account for inheritance by calling it heredity) leads to the belief that since resemblance to parents may be considered by itself, it therefore exists in nature separated from the individuality of living beings.

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

  • n. the total of inherited attributes
  • n. the biological process whereby genetic factors are transmitted from one generation to the next

Etymologies

French hérédité, from Old French heredite, inheritance, from Latin hērēditās, from hērēs, hērēd-, heir; see ghē- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French hérédité, from Latin hērēditas ("condition of being an heir"), from hēres ("heir"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thus it is "_heredity with natural selection which adapt_ the anatomical plan of the ganglia." {236b} It is heredity which impresses nervous changes on the individual. {236c} "In the lifetime of species actions originally intelligent may by frequent repetition _and heredity_," &c. {236d}; but he nowhere tells us what heredity is any more than Messrs. Herbert Spencer, Darwin, and Lewes have done.

    Selections from Previous Works and Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals

  • We need not use the term heredity at all, or if we do, must remember that in the present argument it does not refer to any transmission from the parent.

    Hormones and Heredity

  • While most things humans do have roots in heredity, could voting and political participation in general be another to add to the list?

    Too Apathetic to Vote? It’s Genetic | Disinformation

  • June 23rd, 2006 at 2: 19 am mtDNA is mitochondrial DNA & is distinct from nuclear DNA. mtDNA codes only for the proteins of the mitochondrion, the cell organelle responsible for oxidative phosphorylation, & plays no role in heredity other than this. mtDNA is derived only from the ovum & is used in forensic DNA fingerprinting. kim Says:

    Zorse – The Zebra Horse Hybrid

  • January 10th, 2006 at 4: 10 pm perhaps you can point out which of his peer-reviewed papers lend credence to or deal with "Rupert Sheldrake's hypothesis of morphic resonance explains how much of heredity is not based on DNA at all but is a more holistic, field-like phenomenon."

    The Memory Hole

  • I forgot – perhaps you can point out which of his peer-reviewed papers lend credence to or deal with "Rupert Sheldrake's hypothesis of morphic resonance explains how much of heredity is not based on DNA at all but is a more holistic, field-like phenomenon."

    The Memory Hole

  • Rupert Sheldrake's hypothesis of morphic resonance explains how much of heredity is not based on DNA at all but is a more holistic, field-like phenomenon.

    The Memory Hole

  • And if there is anything in heredity (such as tall parents having tall children) one would expect children of high socio-economic group parents to have more ability than children of low socio-economic group parents.

    The Great Sorting

  • Examples include the discovery of how the nucleic acid DNA, the chemical substance of heredity, is built (1962), how the synthesis of nucleic acids takes place (1959), how the activity of genes is regulated (1965) and what the genetic code looks like (1968).

    Physiology or Medicine 1993 - Press Release

  • In the September, 1971, Atlantic, R.J. Herrnstein summarized the position of psychologists and others who believe that heredity is substantially more important than environment in determining intelligence, as measured by IQ tests.

    Academic Ignorance and Black Intelligence

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