Pronunciation: /ˈinstiNGkt /
- 1An innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli: birds have an instinct to build nests maternal instinctsMore example sentences
- This is a sociable little animal with strong maternal instincts.
- Valentin aims to balance the cubs' need for care and attention with the wild instincts the growing animals need for survival.
- This instinct caused animals to form close-knit, evenly spaced groups, as seen in real mammal herds and fish schools.
- 1.1A natural or intuitive way of acting or thinking: they retain their old authoritarian instinctsMore example sentences
- Beware of intuition and gut instincts, they are completely unreliable.
- She sees a younger version of herself in Rose, especially the way she relies on her instincts and intuition.
- We should listen to our own instincts, our own intuitions and our own bodies.
- 1.2A natural propensity or skill of a specified kind: his instinct for making the most of his chancesMore example sentences
- The natural instinct for self enhancement of professional status has led most practitioners to subscribe to organisations overtly raising standards.
- ‘You've certainly not got a natural instinct for this,’ he says in his blunt way.
- He has a natural instinct for framing an argument.
- 1.3The fact or quality of possessing innate behavior patterns: instinct told her not to ask the questionMore example sentences
- In fact, instinct usually lets you know whether a child is essentially happy with a care arrangement or whether that morning misery will last the rest of the day.
- It was woman's distinctive moral qualities - feeling and instinct - that were thought to dull her abilities to practice science.
- In other words, we possess culture in addition to instinct.
Pronunciation: /inˈstiNGkt /[predic.] (instinct with) • formal Back to top
- Imbued or filled with (a quality, especially a desirable one): these canvases are instinct with passionMore example sentences
- How oft, instinct with warmth divine, thy threshold have I trod!
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- Psychoanalytical theory presupposes that human beings are pushed and pulled by unconscious instinctual impulses.
- His mathematical genius was inborn and instinctual.
- The answer came in human startle responses, which are involuntary and instinctual.
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- She may sleep for four hours at night, but I will only get two of those four hours because it takes me an hour to fall asleep, and I instinctually wake up an hour before she starts crying.
- And they are viscerally and instinctually opposed to war.
- They instinctually recognise universal human rights, and never let ‘popular’ human rights dictate policy.
late Middle English (also in the sense 'instigation, impulse'): from Latin instinctus 'impulse', from the verb instinguere, from in- 'toward' + stinguere 'to prick'.