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

The Fitness Genome approach seeks to re-engineer nature to capitalize upon the body’s innate ability to heal and perform. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County Business Briefs, Sept. 12," 12 Sep. 2019 This reaction, which lasts until the onset of the teenage years, relies on the innate facial recognition capabilities of human beings. Wired, "Do Our Faces Deserve the Same Protection as Our Phones?," 10 Sep. 2019 Use your innate resourcefulness and ingenuity to engineer a plan. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 2, 2019: Happy birthday Keanu Reeves; Capricorn, time to try something new," 2 Sep. 2019 Meghan Markle is a strong, beautiful, amazing woman and, unsurprisingly, there are plenty of people out there who are trying to take advantage of (and profit from) that innate awesomeness. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Is Battling Scammers Who Claim She's Using Weight Loss Supplements to Lose Baby Weight," 11 Aug. 2019 Studies show that parents react sensitively to the innate temperament of their offspring and adapt their upbringing accordingly. Corinna Hartmann, Scientific American, "Does Birth Order Affect Personality?," 8 Aug. 2019 This will give them a chance to exercise this innate behavior with a safe source of nonpoisonous plant life. David Shultz, Science | AAAS, "Mystery solved? Why cats eat grass," 8 Aug. 2019 Webb said true songs of San Antonio go beyond just half-English and half-Spanish to blend into something more innate. René A. Guzman,, "Canciones concerts at the Pearl rock on with Songs of San Antonio," 24 July 2019 Humans, like wolves and whales, havean apparently innate need to inhabit packs, pods and political groupings. Andrew Malcolm, Anchorage Daily News, "Both political parties are more dysfunctional than Trump White House," 21 Mar. 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






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Last Updated

30 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for innate

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

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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


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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fear of the number 13

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