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Definition of "hereditary" []

  • Law Descending from an ancestor to a legal heir; passing down by inheritance. (adjective)
  • Law Having title or possession through inheritance. (adjective)
  • Transmitted or capable of being transmitted genetically from parent to offspring: a hereditary disease. (adjective)
  • Appearing in or characteristic of successive generations. (adjective)
  • Derived from or fostered by one's ancestors: a hereditary prejudice. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "hereditary" in a sentence
  • "The term hereditary is applied to diseases such as hemophilia and characteristics such as the tendency toward baldness that pass from parents to children."
  • "She was the direct descendant of the Great _Maguinoó_, or Prince of Luzon, a title hereditary, according to tradition."
  • "Her brother was King James's Chief Cupbearer for Ireland, a title hereditary in the Butler family, as their name implies."