n. pl. he·red·i·ties
1. The genetic transmission of characteristics from parent to offspring.
2. The sum of characteristics and associated potentialities transmitted genetically to an individual organism.
[French hérédité, from Old French heredite, inheritance, from Latin hērēditās, from hērēs, hērēd-, heir; see ghē- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.