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[huh-red-i-tee] /həˈrɛd ɪ ti/

noun, plural heredities. Biology.
the transmission of genetic characters from parents to offspring: it is dependent upon the segregation and recombination of genes during meiosis and fertilization and results in the genesis of a new individual similar to others of its kind but exhibiting certain variations resulting from the particular mix of genes and their interactions with the environment.
the genetic characters so transmitted.
noun (pl) -ties
the transmission from one generation to another of genetic factors that determine individual characteristics: responsible for the resemblances between parents and offspring
the sum total of the inherited factors or their characteristics in an organism

1530s, from Middle French hérédité (12c.), from Latin hereditatem (nominative hereditas) “heirship, inheritance, condition of being an heir,” from heres (genitive heredis) “heir, heiress,” from PIE root *ghe- “to be empty, left behind” (cf. Greek khera “widow”). Legal sense of “inheritable quality or character” first recorded 1784; the modern biological sense seems to be found first in 1863, introduced by Herbert Spencer.

heredity he·red·i·ty (hə-rěd’ĭ-tē)

The passage of biological traits or characteristics from parents to offspring through the inheritance of genes.

The passing of characteristics from parents to children. (See genetics.)


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