heredity (n.) Look up heredity at Dictionary.com
1530s, 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" (source also of Greek khera "widow"). Legal sense of "inheritable quality or character" first recorded 1784; the modern biological sense seems to be found first in 1863, introduced by Herbert Spencer.