Meaning of acquired characteristic in English:

acquired characteristic

(also acquired character)


  • A modification or change in an organ or tissue that is due to use, disuse, or environmental effects during an organism's lifetime.

    • ‘The giraffe is often used as an example of contrast between Lamarck's idea of acquired characteristics with Darwin's natural selection.’
    • ‘The details of this theory need not concern us, except to note that it was ‘Larmarckist’ in its contention that it is possible for organisms to inherit acquired characteristics.’
    • ‘There are, however, a few examples of biological systems in which acquired characters are passed onto future generations.’
    • ‘He had observed that certain species had profoundly reduced or rudimentary organs, and he explained them not as a consequence of natural selection, but as evidence of the inheritance of acquired characters.’
    • ‘In the usual phrase, an acquired character has, at least partly, been inherited.’
    • ‘The theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics postulated by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck early in the 19th century is undergoing a surprising revival, albeit in modified form.’


acquired characteristic