passing, or capable of passing, naturally from parent to offspring through the genes: Blue eyes are hereditary in our family.: Compare congenital.
of or relating to inheritance or heredity: a hereditary title.
existing by reason of feeling, opinions, or prejudices held by predecessors: a hereditary enemy.
descending by inheritance.
transmitted or transmissible in the line of descent by force of law.
holding title, rights, etc., by inheritance: a hereditary proprietor.
(of a collection of sets) signifying that each subset of a set in the collection is itself a set in the collection.
of or relating to a mathematical property, as containing a greatest integer, applicable to every subset of a set that has the property.
- he·red·i·tar·i·ly [hi-red-i-tair-uh-lee, -red-i-ter-], /hɪˌrɛd ɪˈtɛər ə li, -ˈrɛd ɪˌtɛr-/, adverb
- he·red·i·tar·i·ness, noun
- non·he·red·i·tar·i·ly, adverb
- non·he·red·i·tar·i·ness, noun
- non·he·red·i·tar·y, adjective
- qua·si-he·red·i·tar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use hereditary in a sentence
Furthermore, by the 14th century BC, the pharaohs created a separate military caste which was basically hereditary in its nature.
The term gene was introduced later, in 1909, by the Danish biologist Wilhelm Johannsen to refer to the unit of hereditary material.How we got from Gregor Mendel’s pea plants to modern genetics | Elizabeth Quill | February 7, 2022 | Science News
They respected the ritual specialists as guardians of ancient texts, the Vedas, and the priests gradually formed a hereditary class, the brahmins.What Ancient Laws Can Teach Us About Holding Autocrats to Account Today | Fernanda Pirie | December 23, 2021 | Time
The PIEZ01 and PIEZ02 genes that Patapoutian discovered have also been implicated in a number of hereditary diseases involving proprioception.Nobel Prize awarded to researchers who parsed how we feel temperature and touch | Claire Maldarelli | October 4, 2021 | Popular-Science
Much of this unwritten Constitution had deep roots in hereditary political powers of kings and noblemen.The Story Behind the Declaration of Independence's Most Memorable Line | Akhil Reed Amar | May 7, 2021 | Time
That surely was the sentiment of more than a few of the hereditary distillers in bourbon country.Hillbilly Heaven: The History of Small-Batch Bourbon | Dane Huckelbridge | March 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
This son has begun thrumming the strings of hereditary determinism, and is finding them holding taut.Michael Hainey and Aleksandar Hemon’s Chicago Dreams | Chris Wallace | March 3, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Some naive types might say that this indicates an enormous hereditary factor as an explanation of successful coin-flipping.
After 33 years of working in a factory, Nowlin had developed a hereditary eye disease called Retinitis pigmentosa.
The public ceremony unveiling the wife of the newly anointed hereditary dictator of North Korea was anything but traditional.North Korea IDs Mystery Woman as Kim Jong-Un’s Wife—But Who Is She, Really? | Nate Thayer | July 26, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
hereditary legislation in the twentieth century and the most civilized country in the world!Ancestors | Gertrude Atherton
Membership in the Virginia Council was considered a position of the greatest prestige and was almost an hereditary position.Hallowed Heritage: The Life of Virginia | Dorothy M. Torpey
Being the hereditary Datto, the inhabitants of the valley generally sympathized with him, at least passively.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
This the chapel owes to the residence of the royal family, whose passion and talent for music are hereditary.Journal of a Voyage to Brazil | Maria Graham
No family history of epilepsy, insanity, nervous or other hereditary disorders in 59 per cent.A Statistical Inquiry Into the Nature and Treatment of Epilepsy | Alexander Hughes Bennett
British Dictionary definitions for hereditary
of, relating to, or denoting factors that can be transmitted genetically from one generation to another
descending or capable of descending to succeeding generations by inheritance
transmitted or transmissible according to established rules of descent
derived from one's ancestors; traditional: hereditary feuds
(of a set) containing all those elements which have a given relation to any element of the set
(of a property) transferred by the given relation, so that if x has the property P and xRy, then y also has the property P
- hereditarily, adverb
- hereditariness, noun
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
Scientific definitions for hereditary
Passed or capable of being passed from parent to offspring by means of genes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Cultural definitions for hereditary
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.