adjective Etymology: Middle English hereditarie, from Latin hereditarius, from hereditas Date: 15th century 1. a. genetically transmitted or transmittable from parent to offspring b. characteristic of or fostered by one's predecessors 2. a. received or passing by inheritance or required to pass by inheritance or by reason of birth b. having title or possession through inheritance or by reason of birth 3. of a kind established by tradition <
hereditary enemies
4. of or relating to inheritance or heredity Synonyms: see innatehereditarily adverb

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • hereditary — he·red·i·tary /hə re də ˌter ē/ adj [Latin hereditarius, from hereditas inheritance, from hered heres heir] 1: received or passing by inheritance or required to pass by inheritance hereditary shares 2: having ownership or possession through… …   Law dictionary

  • Hereditary — He*red i*ta*ry, a. [L. hereditarius, fr. hereditas heirship, inheritance, fr. heres heir: cf. F. h[ e]r[ e]ditaire. See {Heir}.] 1. Descended, or capable of descending, from an ancestor to an heir at law; received or passing by inheritance, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • hereditary — [hə red′i ter΄ē] adj. [L hereditarius < hereditas: see HEREDITY] 1. a) of, or passed down by, inheritance from an ancestor to a legal heir; ancestral b) having title, right, etc. by inheritance 2. of, or passed down by, heredity; designating… …   English World dictionary

  • hereditary — (adj.) early 15c., hereditarie, from L. hereditarius, from hereditas (see HEREDITY (Cf. heredity)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • hereditary — congenital, inborn, inherited, *innate, inbred Analogous words: transmitted, conveyed (see CARRY): inherent, con stitutional, intrinsic, ingrained …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • hereditary — [adj] inherited; transmitted at birth ancestral, bequeathed, family, genealogical, genetic, handed down, heritable, inborn, inbred, inheritable, inherited, lineal, maternal, paternal, patrimonial, traditional, transmissible, transmitted, willed;… …   New thesaurus

  • hereditary — ► ADJECTIVE 1) conferred by, based on, or relating to inheritance. 2) (of a characteristic or disease) able to be passed on genetically from parents to their offspring. DERIVATIVES hereditarily adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • hereditary — [[t]hɪre̱dɪtri[/t]] 1) ADJ A hereditary characteristic or illness is passed on to a child from its parents before it is born. Cystic fibrosis is the commonest fatal hereditary disease... In men, hair loss is hereditary. 2) ADJ A title or position …   English dictionary

  • hereditary — hereditarily /hi red i tair euh lee, red i ter /, adv. hereditariness, n. /heuh red i ter ee/, adj. 1. passing, or capable of passing, naturally from parent to offspring through the genes: Blue eyes are hereditary in our family. Cf. congenital. 2 …   Universalium

  • hereditary — 1. adjective a) which is passed on as inheritance, by last will or intestate Duke is a hereditary title which was created in Norman times. b) (of a title, honor or right) legally granted to somebodys descendant after that persons death.… …   Wiktionary

  • hereditary — /həˈrɛdətri / (say huh reduhtree) adjective 1. passing, or capable of passing, naturally from parents to offspring: hereditary traits. 2. relating to inheritance or heredity: hereditary descent. 3. being such through feelings, etc., derived from… …   Australian English dictionary

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