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Meaning of INSTINCT

Pronunciation:  in'stingkt

WordNet Dictionary
[n]  inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to specific stimuli; "the spawning instinct in salmon"; "altruistic instincts in social animals"

INSTINCT is a 8 letter word that starts with I.


 Synonyms: inherent aptitude
 See Also: aptitude, id



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \In*stinct"\, a. [L. instinctus, p. p. of instinguere
    to instigate, incite; cf. instigare to instigate. Cf.
    {Instigate}, {Distinguish}.]
    Urged or stimulated from within; naturally moved or impelled;
    imbued; animated; alive; quick; as, birds instinct with life.
          The chariot of paternal deity . . . Itself instinct
          with spirit, but convoyed By four cherubic shapes.
          A noble performance, instinct with sound principle.
  2. \In"stinct\, n. [L. instinctus instigation, impulse,
    fr. instinguere to instigate: cf. F. instinct. See
    {Instinct}, a.]
    1. Natural inward impulse; unconscious, involuntary, or
       unreasoning prompting to any mode of action, whether
       bodily, or mental, without a distinct apprehension of the
       end or object to be accomplished.
             An instinct is a propensity prior to experience, and
             independent of instructions.          --Paley.
             An instinct is a blind tendency to some mode of
             action, independent of any consideration, on the
             part of the agent, of the end to which the action
             leads.                                --Whately.
             An instinct is an agent which performs blindly and
             ignorantly a work of intelligence and knowledge.
                                                   --Sir W.
             By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust Ensuing
             dangers.                              --Shak.
    2. (Zo["o]l.) Specif., the natural, unreasoning, impulse by
       which an animal is guided to the performance of any
       action, without of improvement in the method.
             The resemblance between what originally was a habit,
             and an instinct becomes so close as not to be
             distinguished.                        --Darwin.
    3. A natural aptitude or knack; a predilection; as, an
       instinct for order; to be modest by instinct.
  3. \In*stinct"\, v. t.
    To impress, as an animating power, or instinct. [Obs.]
 Definition: a genetically-determined pattern of behavior that is characteristic of a species and is often a response to specific internal or environmental stimuli.
Thesaurus Terms
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