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Inheritance-are characteristics that transferred from one organism to another


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Alternative forms[edit]


  • IPA(key): /ɪnˈhɛɹətəns/
  • (file)


Recorded since 1473, from to inherit, itself from Old French enheriter "make heir, appoint as heir," from Late Latin inhereditare "to appoint as heir," from Latin in- "in" + hereditare "to inherit," from heres (gen. heredis) "heir".


inheritance (countable and uncountable, plural inheritances)

  1. The passing of title to an estate upon death.
  2. (countable) That which a person is entitled to inherit, by law or testament.
  3. (biology) The biological attributes passed hereditarily from ancestors to their offspring.
  4. (programming, object-oriented) In object-oriented programming, the mechanism whereby parts of a superclass are available to instances of its subclass.

Related terms[edit]


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  • inheritance” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).