killer instinct

noun

Definition of 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

Donald, witness to his father’s deepening disappointment, fashioned himself Fred Jr.’s opposite — the brash tough guy with a killer instinct. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 Once again, Madrid’s resourceful killer instinct set them apart and put them well on course for more European glory, whilst Bayern contemplate the errors which have once again cost them dearly. SI.com, "Thomas Muller Rues Bayern Mistakes But Insists His Side Should Not be 'Ashamed' Following Madrid Tie," 2 May 2018 The sweet, sweet touch of Samuel Armenteros The Portland Timbers have now won a club-record six matches in a row, and Swedish striker Samuel Armenteros is rounding into form to provide the killer instinct up top the club had been lacking. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "The MLS XI, Week 13: The Players Have Had Enough of VAR," 28 May 2018 France ultimately lacked the killer instinct that comes with experience on that occasion. SI.com, "Why France's Quality and Experience Means Now is the Time to Stand and Deliver at the World Cup," 22 June 2018 The new ghoul built for Fallen Kingdom is a lean and toothy dragon of a thing, sans fire but engineered with hyper intelligence and pure killer instinct. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," 5 June 2018 Jordan's killer instinct was always on display; James likes being the nice guy. Jerry Brewer, chicagotribune.com, "Is LeBron James the GOAT? Forget the debate. It's asking the wrong question.," 9 May 2018 Intelligence and autonomy of movement don’t equal free will and killer instinct. Garry Kasparov, WSJ, "Intelligent Machines Will Teach Us—Not Replace Us," 7 May 2018 Ex-Gunners star Martin Keown has also hailed the striker's 'killer instinct'. SI.com, "Arsenal Teammate Reveals Key Reasons for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang's Fast Start to Life at Arsenal," 10 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of killer instinct

1931, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about killer instinct

Share killer instinct

Statistics for killer instinct

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for killer instinct

The first known use of killer instinct was in 1931

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for killer instinct

killer instinct

noun

English Language Learners Definition of killer instinct

: a very strong desire to succeed or win

Comments on killer instinct

What made you want to look up killer instinct? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a knickknack or trinket

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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