instinct

EnglishEdit

 
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EtymologyEdit

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.

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˈɪn.stɪŋkt/
  • (file)

NounEdit

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: [] 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 termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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 readingEdit


DutchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from French instinct, from Latin īnstinctus.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

instinct n (plural instincten)

  1. instinct (innate response, impulse or behaviour)

Derived termsEdit


FrenchEdit

EtymologyEdit

Borrowed from Latin īnstinctus.

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

instinct m (plural instincts)

  1. instinct
  2. gut feeling

Related termsEdit

Further readingEdit


RomanianEdit

EtymologyEdit

From French instinct

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

instinct n (plural instincte)

  1. instinct

DeclensionEdit

Related termsEdit