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acquired characteristic

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noun

a characteristic of an organism that results from increased use or disuse of an organ or the effects of the environment and cannot be inheritedSee also Lamarckism

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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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Scientific definitions for acquired characteristic

acquired characteristic
[ ə-kwīrd ]

A nonhereditary change of function or structure in a plant or animal made in response to the environment. Acquired characteristics include bodily changes brought about by disease or by repeated use or disuse of a body part (as in the building or atrophy of muscle tissue). The heritability of acquired characteristics was advocated by certain biological theorists like Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and rejected by Charles Darwin in his formulation of the theory of evolution.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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