Instinct meaning

ĭnstĭngkt
Frequency:
The definition of instinct is something you just know or sense.

When a dog gives birth to puppies and immediately just begins to nurse, this is an example of when the mother dog acts on instinct.

noun
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A natural or acquired tendency, aptitude, or talent; bent; knack; gift.

An instinct for doing the right thing.

noun
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A powerful motivation or impulse.
noun
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An inherited tendency of an organism to behave in a certain way, usually in reaction to its environment and for the purpose of fulfilling a specific need. The development and performance of instinctive behavior does not depend upon the specific details of an individual's learning experiences. Instead, instinctive behavior develops in the same way for all individuals of the same species or of the same sex of a species. For example, birds will build the form of nest typical of their species although they may never have seen such a nest being built before. Some butterfly species undertake long migrations to wintering grounds that they have never seen. Behavior in animals often reflects the influence of a combination of instinct and learning. The basic song pattern of many bird species is inherited, but it is often refined by learning from other members of the species. Dogs that naturally seek to gather animals such as sheep or cattle into a group are said to have a herding instinct, but the effective use of this instinct by the dog also requires learning on the dog's part. Instinct, as opposed to reflex , is usually used of inherited behavior patterns that are more complex or sometimes involve a degree of interaction with learning processes.
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Filled or charged (with)

A look instinct with pity.

adjective
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An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli.

The spawning instinct in salmon; altruistic instincts in social animals.

noun
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A powerful motivation or impulse.
noun
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A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.

Many animals fear fire by instinct.

noun
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An innate capability or aptitude.

An instinct for tact and diplomacy.

noun
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Deeply filled or imbued.

Words instinct with love.

adjective
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Impelled from within.
adjective
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(an) Inborn tendency to behave in a way characteristic of a species; natural, unlearned, predictable response to stimuli.

Suckling is an instinct in mammals.

noun
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A primal psychic force or drive, as fear, love, or anger; specif., in Freudian analysis, either the life instinct (Eros) or the death instinct (Thanatos)
noun
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An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.

An instinct for order; to be modest by instinct.

Debbie's instinct was to distrust John.

noun
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(archaic) Imbued, charged (with something).
adjective
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An inborn pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific environmental stimuli.

The spawning instinct in salmon; altruistic instincts in social animals.

noun
0
1

Origin of instinct

  • Middle English from Latin īnstīnctus impulse from past participle of īnstinguere to incite in- intensive pref. in–2 stinguere to prick steig- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Latin instinctus, past participle of instinguere (“to incite, to instigate”), from in (“in, on”) + stinguere (“to prick”)

    From Wiktionary