killer instinct


: an aggressive tenacious urge for domination in a struggle to attain a set goal

Examples of killer instinct in a Sentence

Her killer instincts have helped her become one of the top tennis players in the world.
Recent Examples on the Web Liberals will see it as a stomach-churning making-of-a-monster account while the MAGA faithful might conceivably misconstrue it as an endorsement of their guy, who has made the killer instinct his brand. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 May 2024 The killer instinct in Murray appears to be raging in the dying light as the prospect of family life and a move away from the back-breaking practice ground looms large. Tim Ellis, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Streaming: SiriusXM Channels 196 and 958, Varsity Network, Fubo, Sling Purdue basketball news How to watch:No. 1 Purdue basketball vs. No. 8 Illinois TV, radio, streaming for Big Ten matchup Boilermakers win:Does Purdue basketball have killer instinct? Evan Frank, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Jan. 2024 Led by quarterback Brock Purdy, whose altar boy looks belie his killer instinct on the field, the 49ers are anything but unexpected participants in this, the biggest of big games. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 11 Feb. 2024 Sam is intent on curbing his killer instincts, chaining Alan to the floor of his basement and forcing him to conduct therapy sessions while detained. Kevin Jacobsen,, 4 Aug. 2023 With the ball moving and the team in sync, Davis showcased her killer instinct when given the chance to strike. Timothy Dashiell, Baltimore Sun, 13 Sep. 2023 Still, how McCarthy handled that situation was consistent of a coach working to develop a killer instinct from his football team. Michael Gehlken, Dallas News, 11 Sep. 2023 Read More: What to Know About the U.S. Soccer Team in the 2023 Women's World Cup What’s killer instinct in one moment counts as tunnel vision in the next. Sean Gregory, Time, 27 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'killer instinct.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1931, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of killer instinct was in 1931

Dictionary Entries Near killer instinct

Cite this Entry

“Killer instinct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on killer instinct

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!