What does instinct mean?

Definitions for instinctˈɪn stɪŋkt

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word instinct.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. instinct, inherent aptitude(adj)

    inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to specific stimuli

    "the spawning instinct in salmon"; "altruistic instincts in social animals"

  2. instinct(p), replete(p)(adj)

    (followed by `with')deeply filled or permeated

    "imbued with the spirit of the Reformation"; "words instinct with love"; "it is replete with misery"

Wiktionary

  1. instinct(Noun)

    A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.

    Many animals fear fire by instinct.

  2. instinct(Noun)

    An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.

    Debbie's instinct was to distrust John.

  3. instinct(Adjective)

    Urged or stimulated from within, infused

  4. Origin: From instinctus, past participle of instinguere, from in + stinguere

Webster Dictionary

  1. Instinct(adj)

    urged or stimulated from within; naturally moved or impelled; imbued; animated; alive; quick; as, birds instinct with life

  2. Instinct(adj)

    natural inward impulse; unconscious, involuntary, or unreasoning prompting to any mode of action, whether bodily, or mental, without a distinct apprehension of the end or object to be accomplished

  3. Instinct(adj)

    specif., the natural, unreasoning, impulse by which an animal is guided to the performance of any action, without of improvement in the method

  4. Instinct(adj)

    a natural aptitude or knack; a predilection; as, an instinct for order; to be modest by instinct

  5. Instinct(verb)

    to impress, as an animating power, or instinct

  6. Origin: [L. instinctus, p. p. of instinguere to instigate, incite; cf. instigare to instigate. Cf. Instigate, Distinguish.]

Freebase

  1. Instinct

    Instinct or innate behavior is the inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular complex behavior. The simplest example of an instinctive behavior is a fixed action pattern, in which a very short to medium length sequence of actions, without variation, are carried out in response to a clearly defined stimulus. Any behavior is instinctive if it is performed without being based upon prior experience, and is therefore an expression of innate biological factors. Sea turtles, newly hatched on a beach, will automatically move toward the ocean. A joey climbs into its mother's pouch upon being born. Honeybees communicate by dancing in the direction of a food source without formal instruction. Other examples include animal fighting, animal courtship behavior, internal escape functions, and the building of nests. All of these are examples of complex behaviors and are thus substantially different from simple reflex behaviors. An instinct should be distinguished from a reflex, which is a simple response of an organism to a specific stimulus, such as the contraction of the pupil in response to bright light or the spasmodic movement of the lower leg when the knee is tapped. Instincts, in contrast, are inborn complex patterns of behavior that must exist in every member of the species and that cannot be overcome by force of will. However, the absence of volitional capacity must not be confused with an inability to modify fixed action patterns. For example, people may be able to modify a stimulated fixed action pattern by consciously recognizing the point of its activation and simply stop doing it, whereas animals without a sufficiently strong volitional capacity may not be able to disengage from their fixed action patterns, once activated.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Instinct

    in′stingkt, n. impulse: an involuntary prompting to action: intuition: the mental aspect of those actions which take rank between unconscious reflex activities and intelligent conduct: the natural impulse by which animals are guided apparently independent of reason or experience.—adj. (in-stingkt′) instigated or incited: moved: animated.—adj. Instinc′tive, prompted by instinct: involuntary: acting according to or determined by natural impulse.—adv. Instinc′tively.—n. Instinctiv′ity (rare). [L. instinctusinstinguĕre, to instigate.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Instinct

    Stereotyped patterns of response, characteristic of a given species, that have been phylogenetically adapted to a specific type of situation.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'instinct' in Nouns Frequency: #2015

Numerology

  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of instinct in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of instinct in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Rebekah Gregory:

    My first instinct as a mother was where in the world was my baby, where was my son.

  2. Rebekah Gregory:

    My first instinct as a mother was, where in the world was my baby, where was my son?

  3. Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton:

    Man only of all earthly creatures, asks, Can the dead die forever - and the instinct that urges the question is God's answer to man, for no instinct is given in vain.

  4. Mark Gregory:

    When walking into an event, it's human nature to gravitate to our right and move around the room counterclockwise, that's everyone else's instinct too, which is why there's often a logjam by the front door.

  5. Junior Nzita Nsuami:

    Our recruiters succeeded in awakening in us the animal instinct that was slumbering there. In magic ceremonies they convinced us that we were invincible, but the reality always showed us that the opposite was true.

Images & Illustrations of instinct


Translations for instinct

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for instinct »

Translation

Find a translation for the instinct definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these instinct definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Citation

Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"instinct." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 28 May 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/instinct>.

Are we missing a good definition for instinct? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for instinct:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.