Instinct Definition

ĭnstĭngkt
instincts
noun
instincts
(an) Inborn tendency to behave in a way characteristic of a species; natural, unlearned, predictable response to stimuli.
Suckling is an instinct in mammals.
Webster's New World
A natural or acquired tendency, aptitude, or talent; bent; knack; gift.
An instinct for doing the right thing.
Webster's New World
A powerful motivation or impulse.
American Heritage Medicine
An innate capability or aptitude.
An instinct for tact and diplomacy.
American Heritage
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)
Webster's New World
Antonyms:
knowledgereason
Advertisement
adjective
Filled or charged (with)
A look instinct with pity.
Webster's New World
Impelled from within.
American Heritage

Other Word Forms of Instinct

Noun

Singular:
instinct
Plural:
instincts

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

Advertisement

Find Similar Words

Find similar words to instinct using the buttons below.

Words Starting With

Words Ending With

Unscrambles

instinct