instinct

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Latin īnstinctus, past participle of īnstinguō (to incite, to instigate), from in (in, on) + stinguō (to prick). This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɪn.stɪŋkt/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

instinct (countable and uncountable, plural instincts)

  1. A natural or inherent impulse or behaviour.
    Many animals fear fire by instinct.
    • c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: []”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iii]:
      By a divine instinct, men's minds mistrust / Ensuing dangers.
    • 1921, Bertrand Russell, The Analysis of Mind:
      In spite of these qualifications, the broad distinction between instinct and habit is undeniable. To take extreme cases, every animal at birth can take food by instinct, before it has had opportunity to learn; on the other hand, no one can ride a bicycle by instinct, though, after learning, the necessary movements become just as automatic as if they were instinctive.
  2. An intuitive reaction not based on rational conscious thought.
    an instinct for order; to be modest by instinct
    Debbie's instinct was to distrust John.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instinct (comparative more instinct, superlative most instinct)

  1. (archaic) Imbued, charged (with something).
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 6”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      The chariot of paternal deity [] / Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed / By four cherubic shapes.
    • (Can we date this quote by Brougham and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      a noble performance, instinct with sound principle
    • 1857, Charlotte Brontë, The Professor
      Her eyes, whose colour I had not at first known, so dim were they with repressed tears, so shadowed with ceaseless dejection, now, lit by a ray of the sunshine that cheered her heart, revealed irids of bright hazel – irids large and full, screened with long lashes; and pupils instinct with fire.
    • 1928, HP Lovecraft, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’:
      This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters.

Further reading[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French instinct, from Latin īnstinctus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

instinct n (plural instincten)

  1. instinct (innate response, impulse or behaviour)

Derived terms[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin īnstinctus.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

instinct m (plural instincts)

  1. instinct
  2. gut feeling

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French instinct

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

instinct n (plural instincte)

  1. instinct

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]