Thesaurus

instinct

noun

Synonyms of instinct

a usually innate ability or desire to perform a specific activity
  • Pouncing on mice is a cat's natural instinct.
  • We needed all of our survival instincts to make it through the weeks lost at sea.

Synonyms & Near Synonyms for instinct

See the Dictionary Definition 

Learn More About instinct

Time Traveler for instinct

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near instinct

instills

instinct

instinctive

See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Instinct.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/instinct. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on instinct

Nglish: Translation of instinct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instinct for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about instinct

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!