innate

adjective
in·​nate | \ i-ˈnāt, ˈi-ˌnāt\

Definition of innate 

1 : existing in, belonging to, or determined by factors present in an individual from birth : native, inborn innate behavior
2 : belonging to the essential nature of something : inherent
3 : originating in or derived from the mind or the constitution of the intellect rather than from experience

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Other Words from innate

innately adverb
innateness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of innate in a Sentence

… the delays innate in both serial and book publication … — Walter Rundell, American Association of University Professors Bulletin, September 1971 … the materials for conflict are innate to social life. — Richard Sennett, Psychology Today, November 1970 The faculty for myth is innate in the human race. — W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919 She has an innate sense of rhythm. the innate problems of wireless communication
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Recent Examples on the Web

As might also be expected, our 10-year-old somehow possesses a profound, innate understanding of AI logic. Steven Brykman, Ars Technica, "Douglas Adams was right: “Genuine people personalities” are coming to our gadgets," 22 Dec. 2018 That means the journey to success going forward will require more than innate talent. WSJ, "Who Read What in 2018: Business and Economics," 10 Dec. 2018 The West’s ascension over other parts of the world has been attributed, instead, to innate Western qualities, including rationality and a talent for invention and innovation, or Western institutions. Howard W. French, Washington Post, "Trump's profane description disregards Africa's crucial role in making America a world power," 14 Jan. 2018 And, of course, defending and rebounding, which is where the instincts are innate for the big man out of Kentucky. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Bam Adebayo leaving Heat with both questions, answers in summer league," 12 July 2018 Having beneficent Jupiter and elusive Neptune as your co-ruling planets hints at your innate angelic, but spacey qualities. Ashley Otero, Teen Vogue, "Who You Should Date, Based on Your Horoscope," 20 Aug. 2018 Rather than covering up the innate design tenants of warehouses and industrial-type spaces, residents/architects/designers choose to highlight it. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Industrial Design," 1 Oct. 2018 If identical people are raised in different environments by different parents, what can that tell us about the degree to which our behaviors, personalities, health, and intelligence are innate or acquired? Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Three Identical Strangers Revisits a Shadowy Scientific Conspiracy," 29 June 2018 Living with an innate sense that no man deserves you? refinery29.com, "The Black Girl's Summer 2018 Playlist," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'innate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of innate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for innate

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

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Dictionary Entries near innate

in name

in name only

innards

innate

innated

innatism

innative

Statistics for innate

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for innate

The first known use of innate was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for innate

innate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of innate

: existing from the time a person or animal is born

: existing as part of the basic nature of something

innate

adjective
in·​nate | \ in-ˈāt, ˈin-ˌ \

Medical Definition of innate 

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

Other Words from innate

innately adverb
innateness noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on innate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with innate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for innate

Spanish Central: Translation of innate

Nglish: Translation of innate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of innate for Arabic Speakers

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