innate

adjective
in·​nate | \ i-ˈnāt How to pronounce innate (audio) , 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

And our innate terrestrial nature is both biological and psychological: Astronauts in orbit spend a lot of their free time looking out the window, toward home. Anchorage Daily News, "What the Space Age taught us: Earth is the best of all possible worlds," 23 June 2019 In dynamic disease environments, traditional vaccines are crippled by distribution and storage challenges, as well as by their innate incapacity to adapt to new threats and mutations. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "In the not-so-distant future, “synbio” could lead to global catastrophe—maybe," 18 June 2019 What is the origin of the innate feeling shared by so many of us that prompts us to keep bringing up this topic? Michael Harriot, The Root, "The All-American Question: Can You Truly Love Black People If You Date Outside Their Race?," 9 May 2018 As their innate humanity becomes more and more obvious, the line between heroes and villains fluctuates. Karen Han, The Verge, "Lost in Space shows a long-running problem with stories about AI," 24 Apr. 2018 For instance, the idea that women have certain innate characteristics (being loving and nurturing, say) and natural roles that derive from them (wife, mother) is sexist. The Economist, "How to change a word’s meaning," 22 June 2019 Gazing at the stars—dreaming of what’s out there—is an almost innate aspect of the human condition, agnostic of language, geographic location, socioeconomic class, or culture. Eric Desatnik, Quartz, "We should care more about the deep sea than we do deep space," 20 June 2019 Most human beings have this innate empathy and goodness and care for other people. Jacqueline Alnes, Longreads, "‘If Any of My Old Friends Are Reading This, It Is Okay Out Here.’," 8 June 2019 The wild-type VSV has evolved ways to suppress its host’s innate immune system, but at the cost of reproducing more slowly. Quanta Magazine, "Viruses Have a Secret, Altruistic Social Life," 15 Apr. 2019

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

8 Jul 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 How to pronounce innate (audio) \

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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