• WordNet 3.6
    • n heredity the total of inherited attributes
    • n heredity the biological process whereby genetic factors are transmitted from one generation to the next
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Heredity (Biol) Hereditary transmission of the physical and psychical qualities of parents to their offspring; the biological law by which living beings tend to repeat their characteristics in their descendants. See Pangenesis.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n heredity Hereditarydescent or transmission, as of physical or mental qualities; hereditary succession or influence.
    • n heredity Specifically, in biology: The influence of parents upon offspring; transmission of qualities or characteristics, mental or physical, from parents to offspring. See atavism.
    • n heredity The principle or fact of inheritance, or the transmission of physical and mental characteristics from parent to offspring, regarded as the conservative factor in evolution, opposing the tendency to variation under conditions of environment.
    • n heredity Metaphorically, that which makes living beings inherit; the explanation or cause of the kinship or resemblance to ancestors which living beings exhibit, or the force or agent or principle that brings about this kinship or resemblance. This metaphorical use of the word leads to forgetfulness of the fact that the word is only a general term for formulating the facts of kinship, and to the regarding of heredity and variation as independent and antagonistic principles or agents or factors in the origin of species. Since we can separate, in our minds, the kinship of living beings, or their likeness to their kind, from their individuality or difference from their kind, and since we find this intellectual analysis useful, some think that what is intellectually separable must be separate in fact, and that organic development is due to heredity and variation as antagonistic principles or agencies.
    • n heredity Metaphorically, the substratum or support or bearer or giver or cause of inheritance: that which makes the offspring to be like its parents or ancestors. This meaning (which depends upon an uncritical use of the word substance, and upon the opinion that we account for inheritance by calling it heredity) leads to the belief that since resemblance to parents may be considered by itself, it therefore exists in nature separated from the individuality of living beings.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Heredity he-red′i-ti the organic relation between generations, esp. between parents and offspring: the transmission of qualities from the parents or ancestors to their offspring
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  • Luther Burbank
    Luther Burbank
    “Heredity is nothing, but stored environment.”
  • Elwyn Brooks White
    “Heredity is a strong factor, even in architecture. Necessity first mothered invention. Now invention has little ones of her own, and they look just like grandma.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. hereditas, heirship
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. hereditas, the state of an heir—heres, herēdis, an heir.


In literature:

These are freaks of heredity which science utterly fails to explain.
"Modern English Books of Power" by George Hamlin Fitch
The point which naturally interests the man of science, and particularly the doctor, is the state of health and the morbid heredity of Mrs Piper.
"Mrs. Piper & the Society for Psychical Research" by Michael Sage
His idiom bears strongly the imprint of that body; suggests strongly that heredity.
"Musical Portraits" by Paul Rosenfeld
There seems to be no reason, except heredity, why twins should be more alike.
"Applied Eugenics" by Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
He tries to account for them and fails; acknowledging ignorance of the laws of heredity.
"Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith" by Robert Patterson
Eugenic improvement is attainable through the control of heredity.
"How to Live" by Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk
But we may see that in either case heredity" (memory) "always asserts its rights.
"Selections from Previous Worksand Remarks on Romanes' Mental Evolution in Animals" by Samuel Butler
I will explain this more thoroughly when I speak of heredity.
"Herself" by E. B. Lowry
It is by the study of heredity that we shall learn to understand the individual.
"Woman and Womanhood" by C. W. Saleeby
The difference is largely due to education in the home, the church, and the school; but it is also the result of heredity.
"Winning a Cause" by John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood

In poetry:

"Of God--on whose strong Vine, Heredity,
Rooted in Voids primeval,
The world climbs ever to some great To-Be
Of passion or reprieval."
"The Strong Man To His Sires" by Cale Young Rice
I care not who were vicious back of me,
No shadow of their sins on me is shed.
My will is greater than heredity.
I am no worm to feed upon the dead.
"Freedom" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
It seeks not, in a brutish rage,
To flog the witless fool;
The rack, the pillory are gone,
The witches' ducking stool;
And Reason builds no gallows for
Heredity's poor tool.
"The Age of Reason" by C J Dennis
From out the mesh of fate our heads we thrust.
We can't do what we would, but what we must.
Heredity has got us in a cinch —
(Consoling thought when you've been on a "bust".)
"Quatrains" by Robert W Service
Nay, gentle brothers, blame them not --
Blame is the whip of fools --
For here again we mark in them
Heredity's poor tools,
The eld rings with their sires' demand,
Calling for ducking stools.
"The Age of Reason" by C J Dennis
We could not marry!--See, the flesh, that clothes the soul of me,
Ordained at birth a sacrifice to this heredity,
Denied, forbade.--Ah, you have seen the bright spots in my cheeks
Flush hectic, as before the night the west burns blood-red streaks?
"One Day And Another: A Lyrical Eclogue – Part IV" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

Men who suffer from bunions do so mainly because of heredity, but it is a combination of heredity and bad shoes that make it better than a 50/50 risk for women.
Membrane heredity and early chloroplast evolution.
Membrane heredity and early chloroplast evolution Trends in Plant Science, Volume 5, Issue 4, 1 April 2000, Pages 174-182 Thomas Cavalier-SmithAbstract.
I recently discussed her case with nutrition specialists who worked with her, and we talked about the mix of culture, economics, heredity and personality that probably contributed to one individual little girl who just would not grow.
Could Heredity Raise Your Vulnerability to 'Be-Thin' Pressure.
Read the general information about heredity before exploring the rest of this Thinkquest site.
Alexander Robertus Todd, a Scottish biochemist whose investigations of the building blocks of heredity earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1957, died on Friday in Cambridge, England, where he made his home.
Varicose veins occur for many reasons, but perhaps the most telling factor is heredity.
The new science of epigenetics is changing our understanding of heredity, identity, and disease.
Heredity seen as top factor.
Study followed 357 adoptive families to eliminate ties to heredity.
Heredity seems to play a role in women's egg supply, study suggests.
CU's Tom R Cech wins the chemistry prize for his discovery that RNA in living cells is not only a molecule of heredity but also can function as a biocatalyst.
Why we're fat, Part 2: Heredity plays role in how easily we gain — and lose — weight.
Heredity and Hope The Case for Genetic Screening Ruth Schwartz Cowan Harvard University Press, $27.95, 304 pp.

In science:

The proof in this case is a heredity proof in the sense of .
The Langlands-Shahidi Method for the metaplectic group and applications
Since for all 1 ≤ i ≤ r , τi has a unique Whittaker model it follows from the heredity property of the Whittaker model that τ ′ has a unique Whittaker model; see .
The Langlands-Shahidi Method for the metaplectic group and applications
Banks W.D., Heredity of Whittaker models on the metaplectic group.
The Langlands-Shahidi Method for the metaplectic group and applications
For example, as we will show elsewhere, Corollary 2 yields a generalized heredity principle for quasideterminants .
Continued Fractions and Unique Factorization on Quivers
The historical heredity principle found by Gel’fand and coworkers then follows from the application of the generalized heredity principle on the complete undirected graph on two vertices and with self loops LK 2 .
Continued Fractions and Unique Factorization on Quivers