What does instinct mean?

Definitions for instinct
ˈɪn stɪŋktin·stinct

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.

    Etymology: From instinctus, past participle of instinguere, from in + stinguere

  2. instinct(Noun)

    An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.

    Debbie's instinct was to distrust John.

    Etymology: From instinctus, past participle of instinguere, from in + stinguere

  3. instinct(Adjective)

    Urged or stimulated from within, infused

    Etymology: 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

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

  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

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

  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

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

  4. Instinct(adj)

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

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

  5. Instinct(verb)

    to impress, as an animating power, or instinct

    Etymology: [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.

Editors Contribution

  1. instinct

    Intuition or intuitive feeling, knowing or thought.

    He said his instinct told him to carry out acts of kindness towards his fellow human beings to he acted according to his instinct.

    Submitted by MaryC on January 18, 2016  

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

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

How to pronounce instinct?

  1. Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Indian

How to say instinct in sign language?

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

Examples of instinct in a Sentence

  1. Chuck Schumer:

    Mr. Bolton’s tendency to try to solve every geopolitical problem with the American military first is a troubling one, i hope he will temper his instinct to commit the men and women of our armed forces to conflicts around the globe, when we need to be focused on building the middle class here at home.

  2. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz:

    It reveals a lot about character. It reveals a lot about class, that Donald's instinct is to try to attack my wife and sully her. That should be beneath Donald, but the reason he's doing that is he had a very bad night.

  3. Sakshi Tanwar:

    While I was shooting for Kahaani …I got a call from the director of Coffee House – Gurbir Singh. He asked me whether I was ready to take up a role in his film. Not many people are aware that Gurbirji was the person who offered me my first role in television – for a show called Dastoor. Those days I was a greenhorn, but still he had faith in my capabilities and offered me the role. Since the offer of Coffee House came from him, I definitely had to give it a good thought. Plus, many times it has happened in my life – and perhaps in everyone's life – while talking to someone about a project, an instinct tells you that it is something good for you. There may apparently be no rhyme or reason, but you do sense an inner voice telling you that it will be good. I got the same feeling with this film. Plus my saying yes also meant me saying thank you to him for restoring his faith in me.

  4. Henry Louis Mencken:

    Life without sex might be safer but it would be unbearably dull. It is the sex instinct which makes women seem beautiful, which they are once in a blue moon, and men seem wise and brave, which they never are at all. Throttle it, denaturalize it, take it away, and human existence would be reduced to the prosiac, laborious, boresome, imbecile level of life in an anthill.

  5. Vice President Joe Biden:

    The Senate gets to have a say, and so in order to get this done, the President is not going to be able to go out -- nor would it be his instinct anyway -- to pick the most liberal jurist in the nation and put them on the court. There are plenty of judges on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the Republicans.

Images & Illustrations of instinct

  1. instinctinstinctinstinctinstinctinstinct

Popularity rank by frequency of use

instinct#10000#17800#100000

Translations for instinct

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