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

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Other words from instinctive

instinctively adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of instinctive in a Sentence

Cats have an instinctive desire to hunt. the instinctive reaction of a mother is to protect her children

Recent Examples on the Web

An instinctive and intelligent read-and-react player, the 6-foot-2-inch, 230-pounder is a big, thumping run stuffer who has decent foot speed and coverage skills. Nora Princiotti, BostonGlobe.com, "Scouting the 2018 NFL Draft, position by position," 24 Apr. 2018 Any whiff of Reefer Madness hyperbole is perfectly calibrated to trigger an adolescent's instinctive skepticism for whatever an adult suggests. Claudia Wallis, Scientific American, "What Pot Really Does to the Teen Brain," 1 Dec. 2017 Intelligent, instinctive player with serious playmaking ability. Paul Dehner Jr., Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Bengals 2018 NFL Draft strategy: Safety a surprise need," 17 Apr. 2018 As an immigration lawyer, my first hurdle was always getting through the instinctive distrust that those who have suffered violence and persecution wear as armor. Rafia Zakaria, The New Republic, "On Sending Women Home to Die," 18 June 2018 While public relations and media manipulations may bring benefits, trials are won in the courtroom before twelve intelligent, instinctive, and committed individuals. Laura Mccrystal, Philly.com, "Who is Tom Mesereau? As Bill Cosby's retrial opens, meet his Hollywood lawyer," 6 Apr. 2018 And Trump’s sharp instinctive punch-backs do not calm tensions. SFChronicle.com, "A long tradition: Americans behaving badly," 5 July 2018 Donatella is extraordinarily instinctive at creating iconic moments and fashion. Vogue, "That’s Amore: Friends and Colleagues Pay Tribute to Donatella Versace Ahead of Her CFDA International Award," 31 May 2018 Their instinctive responses were harsh reminders of how deeply white supremacy is embedded in the classroom. Kirsten West Savali, The Root, "‘Highly Offended’ White Teacher Kicked My 9-Year-Old Son Out of Class for Taking Knee During Pledge," 21 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of instinctive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Dictionary Entries near instinctive

instill

instinct

instinction

instinctive

institor

institute

institution

Statistics for instinctive

Last Updated

23 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instinctive

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

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More Definitions for instinctive

instinctive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of instinctive

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

instinctive

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

Kids Definition of instinctive

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

Other words from instinctive

instinctively adverb

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

Other words from instinctive

instinctively adverb

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