instinctive

adjective in·stinc·tive \ in-ˈstiŋ(k)-tiv \

Definition of instinctive

1 :of, relating to, or being instinct
2 :prompted by natural instinct or propensity :arising spontaneously
  • an instinctive fear of innovation
  • —V. L. Parrington

instinctively

adverb

Examples of instinctive in a Sentence

  1. Cats have an instinctive desire to hunt.

  2. the instinctive reaction of a mother is to protect her children

Recent Examples of instinctive from the Web

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

First Known Use of instinctive

15th century

Synonym Discussion of instinctive

spontaneous, impulsive, instinctive, automatic, mechanical mean acting or activated without deliberation. spontaneous implies lack of prompting and connotes naturalness.
    • a spontaneous burst of applause
impulsive implies acting under stress of emotion or spirit of the moment.
    • impulsive acts of violence
instinctive stresses action involving neither judgment nor will.
    • blinking is an instinctive reaction
automatic implies action engaging neither the mind nor the emotions and connotes a predictable response.
    • his denial was automatic
mechanical stresses the lifeless, often perfunctory character of the response.
    • a mechanical teaching method

INSTINCTIVE Defined for English Language Learners

instinctive

adjective

Definition of instinctive for English Language Learners

  • : relating to or based on instinct : based on feelings or desires that do not come from thinking or learning


INSTINCTIVE Defined for Kids

instinctive

adjective in·stinc·tive \ in-ˈstiŋk-tiv \

Definition of instinctive for Students

:of or relating to instinct :resulting from instinct
  • instinctive behavior

instinctively

adverb

Medical Dictionary

instinctive

adjective in·stinc·tive \ in-ˈstiŋ(k)-tiv \

medical Definition of instinctive

1 :of, relating to, or being instinct
2 :derived from or prompted by instinct
  • an instinctive fear

instinctively

adverb


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