instinctive

adjective
in·​stinc·​tive | \ in-ˈstiŋ(k)-tiv How to pronounce instinctive (audio) \

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for instinctive

Synonyms

Antonyms

  • nonmechanical
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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 For example, things that seem instinctive and arbitrary to the reader, such as holding a wake or having a bank account, are foreign and daunting to Jeanie and Julius, and Fuller does well to put the reader in the twins’ proverbial shoes. Seth Combs Writer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 May 2021 The second cognitive test, known as the Stroop test, assessed more complex elements of executive function, like the ability to override your instinctive response. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 28 May 2021 Holland is an instinctive ballhawk with phenomenal awareness. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, 30 Apr. 2021 Our brains are wired, at the core, to operate from an instinctive starting point. Thomas Bradley Cox, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Pros: Smart and instinctive player who excels in zone coverage. USA TODAY, 28 Apr. 2021 Doyle will absolutely get after it and has instinctive hands and feet. Kyle Brown, The Enquirer, 27 Apr. 2021 Not knowing how serious your depressive episodes have been, my instinctive reaction is to advise you to listen to your husband. Arkansas Online, 13 May 2021 He’s not particularly fluid or instinctive, though. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for instinctive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for instinctive

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instinctive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instinctive. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce instinctive (audio) \

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 How to pronounce instinctive (audio) \

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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