Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

innate

play
adjective in·nate \i-ˈnāt, ˈi-ˌ\

Simple Definition of innate

  • : existing from the time a person or animal is born

  • : existing as part of the basic nature of something

Full Definition of innate

  1. 1 :  existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth :  native, inborn <innate behavior>

  2. 2 :  belonging to the essential nature of something :  inherent

  3. 3 :  originating in or derived from the mind or the constitution of the intellect rather than from experience

in·nate·ly adverb
in·nate·ness noun

Examples of innate

  1. … the delays innate in both serial and book publication … —Walter Rundell, American Association of University Professors Bulletin, September 1971

  2. … the materials for conflict are innate to social life. —Richard Sennett, Psychology Today, November 1970

  3. The faculty for myth is innate in the human race. —W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919

  4. She has an innate sense of rhythm.

  5. the innate problems of wireless communication



Origin of innate

Middle English innat, from Latin innatus, past participle of innasci to be born in, from in- + nasci to be born — more at nation


First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of innate

innate, inborn, inbred, congenital, hereditary mean not acquired after birth. innate applies to qualities or characteristics that are part of one's inner essential nature <an innate sense of fair play>. inborn suggests a quality or tendency either actually present at birth or so marked and deep-seated as to seem so <her inborn love of nature>. inbred suggests something either acquired from parents by heredity or so deeply rooted and ingrained as to seem acquired in that way <inbred political loyalties>. congenital and hereditary refer to what is acquired before or at birth, the former to things acquired during fetal development and the latter to things transmitted from one's ancestors <a congenital heart murmur> <eye color is hereditary>.

Rhymes with innate

abate, ablate, adnate, aerate, age-mate, agnate, airdate, airfreight, alate, arête, await, backdate, baldpate, bandmate, baseplate, bedmate, bedplate, berate, birthrate, bistate, bite plate, blank slate, blind date, blue plate, bookplate, breastplate, casemate, castrate, caudate, cell plate, cerate, cheapskate, checkmate, chelate, chordate, citrate, classmate, clavate, cognate, collate, comate, conflate, connate, Cook Strait, cordate, create, cremate, crenate, curate, cut-rate, deadweight, death rate, debate, deflate, delate, dentate, derate, dictate, dilate, disrate, donate, doorplate, downstate, drawplate, elate, end plate, equate, estate, faceplate, falcate, fellate, filtrate, first-rate, fishplate, fixate, flatmate, floodgate, fluxgate, flyweight, folate, formate, frustrate, gelate, gestate, ground state, gyrate, hamate, hastate, headgate, Hell Gate, helpmate, home plate, hot plate, housemate, hydrate, ice-skate, inflate, ingrate, inmate, instate, irate, jailbait, Kuwait, lactate, lapse rate, legate, liftgate, ligate, lightweight, liquate, lobate, locate, lunate, lustrate, lych-gate, lyrate, magnate, makebate, makeweight, mandate, messmate, migrate, misstate, mutate, nameplate, narrate, negate, Newgate, nitrate, notate, nutate, oblate, of late, orate, ornate, ovate, palmate, palpate, peltate, phonate, pinnate, placate, playdate, playmate, plicate, portrait, postdate, predate, prime rate, probate, prolate, pronate, prorate, prostate, prostrate, punctate, pupate, quadrate, rain date, ramate, rebate, red-bait, relate, restate, roommate, rostrate, rotate, saccate, schoolmate, seatmate, sedate, sensate, septate, serrate, shipmate, short weight, slave state, soleplate, soul mate, spectate, spicate, squamate, stagnate, stalemate, stellate, striate, sublate, substrate, sulcate, summate, tailgate, teammate, Tebet, tenth-rate, ternate, terneplate, testate, third-rate, tinplate, to date, toeplate, tollgate, tractate, translate, tristate, truncate, unweight, update, uprate, upstate, V-8, vacate, vallate, valvate, vibrate, virgate, vulgate, whitebait, workmate


Medical Dictionary

innate

play
adjective in·nate \in-ˈāt, ˈin-ˌ\

Medical Definition of innate

  1. :  existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth :  native, inborn <innate behavior>

  2. in·nate·ly adverb
    in·nate·ness noun





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up innate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders pince-nez spindrift duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ