- Anything that is not present at birth but develops some time later. In medicine, the word "acquired" implies "new" or "added." An acquired condition is "new" in the sense that it is not genetic (inherited) and "added" in the sense that was not present at birth. For example, AIDS (the acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is an acquired form of immune deficiency due to the acquisition of HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus). An acquired mutation is a change in a gene that occurs in a single cell after the conception of the individual. That change is then passed along to all cells descended from that cell. Acquired mutations are involved in the development of cancer.
* * *Denoting a disease, predisposition, abnormality, that is not inherited. [L. ac-quiro (adq-), to obtain, fr. quaero, to seek]
* * *ac·quired adj1) arising in response to the action of the environment on the organism (as in the use or disuse of an organ) <\acquired characteristics> compare GENETIC (2), HEREDITARY2) developed after birth <\acquired heart murmurs> compare CONGENITAL (2), FAMILIAL, HEREDITARY
* * *adj.describing a condition or disorder contracted after birth and not attributable to hereditary causes. Compare congenital.
* * *ac·quired (ə-kwīrdґ) [L. acquirere to obtain] not genetic, but produced by influences originating outside the organism.
Medical dictionary. 2011.