hereditary[hə red′i ter′ē]
- The definition of hereditary refers to something inherited through the family or passed down through the family.
When you get a medical condition passed down from your mother, this is an example of a hereditary medical condition.
- of, or passed down by, inheritance from an ancestor to a legal heir; ancestral
- having title, right, etc. by inheritance
- of, or passed down by, heredity; designating or of a characteristic transmitted genetically from generation to generation
- being such because of attitudes, beliefs, etc. passed down through generations: hereditary allies
Origin of hereditaryClassical Latin hereditarius ; from hereditas: see heredity
- a. Of or relating to heredity or inheritance.b. Transmitted or capable of being transmitted genetically from parent to offspring: a hereditary disease.
- a. Passed down from one generation to the next: a hereditary prejudice.b. Being such or possessed by reason of birth: a hereditary aristocracy.
- Law a. Capable of being inherited.b. Descending from an ancestor to a legal heir; passing down by inheritance.c. Having title or possession through inheritance.
Origin of hereditaryMiddle English, from Latin hērēditārius, from hērēditās, inheritance; see heredity.
(comparative more hereditary, superlative most hereditary)
- which is passed on as inheritance, by last will or intestate
- (of a title, honor or right) legally granted to somebody's descendant after that person's death.
- Duke is a hereditary title which was created in Norman times.
- (of a person) holding a legally hereditary title or rank
- hereditary rulers
- (of a disease or trait) passed from a parent to offspring in the genes
- Haemophilia is hereditary in his family.
- A hereditary ruler; a hereditary peer in the House of Lords.
From Latin hereditarius, from hereditas 'inheritance', from heres 'heir'