Noun, pl. heredities
1. The passing of traits to offspring from its parents or ancestor. This is the process by which an offspring cell or organism acquires or becomes predisposed to the characteristics of its parent cell or organism. Through heredity, variations exhibited by individuals can accumulate and cause some species to evolve. (wikipedia.org)
2. Hereditary transmission of the physical and genetic qualities of parents to their offspring; the biological law by which living beings tend to repeat their characteristics in their descendants. (wiktionary.org)
3. A person’s ancestry. (Google Dictionary)
Word origin: From Middle French hérédité (12c.), from Latin hereditatem (nominative hereditas) “heirship, inheritance, condition of being an heir,” from heres (genitive heredis) “heir, heiress,” from PIE root *ghe- “to be empty, left behind”.