instinct

4 ENTRIES FOUND:

1in·stinct

noun \ˈin-ˌstiŋ(k)t\

: a way of behaving, thinking, or feeling that is not learned : a natural desire or tendency that makes you want to act in a particular way

: something you know without learning it or thinking about it

: a natural ability

Full Definition of INSTINCT

1
:  a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity <had an instinct for the right word>
2
a :  a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason
b :  behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level
in·stinc·tu·al \in-ˈstiŋ(k)-chə-wəl, -chəl, -shwəl, -chü-əl\ adjective
in·stinc·tu·al·ly adverb

Examples of INSTINCT

  1. Our first instinct was to run.
  2. Cats possess a natural hunting instinct.
  3. Seeing the baby aroused all her maternal instincts.
  4. He has been guided throughout his career by his political instincts.
  5. Mere instinct alerted her to the danger.
  6. He knew by instinct what not to say.
  7. She seemed to know by instinct that something was wrong.
  8. He has a strong survival instinct.
  9. an athlete with good instincts

Origin of INSTINCT

Middle English, from Latin instinctus impulse, from instinguere to incite; akin to Latin instigare to instigate
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Psychology Terms

fetish, hypochondria, intelligence, mania, narcissism, neurosis, pathological, psychosis, schadenfreude, subliminal

2in·stinct

adjective \in-ˈstiŋ(k)t, ˈin-ˌ\

Definition of INSTINCT

1
obsolete :  impelled by an inner or animating or exciting agency
2
:  profoundly imbued :  infused <my mood, instinct with romance — S. J. Perelman>

First Known Use of INSTINCT

1667

in·stinct

noun \ˈin-ˌstiŋ(k)t\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of INSTINCT

1
: a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason
2
: behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level

instinct

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Involuntary response by an animal, resulting in a predictable and relatively fixed behaviour pattern. Instinctive behaviour is an inherited mechanism that serves to promote the survival of an animal or species. It is most apparent in fighting and sexual activity. The simplest form is the reflex. All animals have instinct, but, in general, the higher the animal form, the more flexible the behaviour. Among mammals, learned behaviour often prevails over instinctive behaviour.

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