instinct

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
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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.
  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: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      The chariot of paternal deity [] / Itself instinct with spirit, but convoyed / By four cherubic shapes.
    • 1838, Henry Brougham, Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III
      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.
    • 1899, John Buchan, No Man's Land
      It was a most Bedlamite catalogue of horrors, which, if true, made the wholesome moors a place instinct with tragedy.
    • 1928 February, H[oward] P[hillips] Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”, in Farnsworth Wright, editor, Weird Tales: A Magazine of the Bizarre and Unusual, volume 11, number 2, Indianapolis, Ind.: Popular Fiction Pub. Co., OCLC 55045234, pages 159–178 and 287:
      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]