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 aptitudeadjective

    inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to specific stimuli

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

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

    (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. instinctnoun

    A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.

    Many animals fear fire by instinct.

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

  2. instinctnoun

    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. instinctadjective

    Urged or stimulated from within, infused

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Instinctadjective

    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. Instinctadjective

    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. Instinctadjective

    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. Instinctadjective

    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. Instinctverb

    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. Ehsan Sehgal:

    The evolution between doubt and belief is a natural-instinct without that one cannot recognize its belief. Doubt leads to believe if one can defeat the doubt.

  2. Carole Baskin:

    I was so impressed with the deputy that showed up on the scene because Carole Baskin did exactly the right thing. And he showed amazing restraint in not shooting that tiger, he kept eye contact. He backed away slowly. A tiger, if you look down, if you turn, if that neighbor had run back to his door, that triggers their instinct to kill.

  3. Jeremy Hunt:

    We are going to make our own independent assessment, we have our processes to do that, (but) we have no reason not to believe the American assessment and our instinct is to believe it because they are our closest ally.

  4. George Gordon Noel Byron, 6th Baron Byron:

    There is no instinct like that of the heart.

  5. Janvier Chouteu-Chando:

    Fear is a basic human instinct and an indicator of the gravity of a situation. It becomes an asset if it is effectively controlled. It becomes a weakness for a man if he lets it to prevail over him.”

Images & Illustrations of instinct

  1. instinctinstinctinstinctinstinctinstinct

Popularity rank by frequency of use

instinct#10000#17800#100000

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:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

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:


Discuss these instinct definitions with the community:

0 Comments

    Citation

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

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "instinct." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 1 Aug. 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/instinct>.

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

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Quiz

    Are you a words master?

    »
    wear away
    • A. fluster
    • B. abet
    • C. abrade
    • D. flub

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for instinct: