[her-i-tuh-buh l]

Origin of heritable

1325–75; Middle English < Middle French, equivalent to herit(er) to inherit + -able -able. See heir, heredity
Related formsher·it·a·bil·i·ty, nounher·it·a·bly, adverbnon·her·it·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·her·it·a·ble, adjectivenon·her·it·a·bly, adverbun·her·it·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedheritable hereditary inheritable (see synonym study at hereditary)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for heritability

Historical Examples of heritability

  • Perhaps this heritability was limited to those cases in which the heiress transmitted the de facto headship of her house.

    A Complete Guide to Heraldry

    Arthur Charles Fox-Davies

British Dictionary definitions for heritability


  1. capable of being inherited; inheritable
  2. mainly law capable of inheriting
Derived Formsheritability, nounheritably, adverb

Word Origin for heritable

C14: from Old French, from heriter to inherit
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

Word Origin and History for heritability



early 15c., from Old French héritable (c.1200), from hériter (see heritage). Related: Heritability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

heritability in Medicine


  1. The quality of being heritable.
  2. The proportion of phenotypic variance attributable to variance in genotypes.


  1. Capable of being passed from one generation to the next; hereditary.
  2. Capable of inheriting or taking by inheritance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

heritability in Science


  1. Capable of being passed from one generation to the next through the genes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.