Definitions of instinct

  1. inborn pattern of behavior often responsive to specific stimuli; " the spawning instinct in salmon"; " altruistic instincts in social animals"
  2. ( followed by ` with') deeply filled or permeated; " imbued with the spirit of the Reformation"; " words instinct with love"; " it is replete with misery"
  3. Urged or stimulated from within; naturally moved or impelled; imbued; animated; alive; quick; as, birds instinct with life.
  4. 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.
  5. Specif., the natural, unreasoning, impulse by which an animal is guided to the performance of any action, without of improvement in the method.
  6. A natural aptitude or knack; a predilection; as, an instinct for order; to be modest by instinct.
  7. To impress, as an animating power, or instinct.
  8. Charged or filled with; as, creatures instinct with life.
  9. Natural impulse in animals; involuntary urging to any action; a natural tendency; as, an instinct for direction.
  10. Impulse: an involuntary or unreasoning prompting to action: the natural impulse by which animals are guided apparently independent of reason or experience.
  11. Instigated or incited: moved: animated.
  12. Animated from within.
  13. A natural impulse acting automatically; animal sagacity.
  14. Animated; moved. See Instigate.
  15. A natural impulse in animals to do what is necessary for existence, preservation, and propagation, independently of instruction and experience; an unreasoned prompting.
  16. Moved; animated.

Usage examples for instinct

  1. It was as though the nature in her knew that touch again, as by some instinct every woman does, if once the toucher's lips have been near her own, though it be long ago. – The Virgin of the Sun by H. R. Haggard
  2. Some instinct told the wild, ignorant child to dress quietly. – The Rebel of the School by Mrs. L. T. Meade
  3. I know I am one of those who are born with the instinct for the best. – The Deluge by David Graham Phillips
  4. He walked a long time, as if urged on by some instinct. – Original Short Stories, Volume 12 (of 13) by Guy de Maupassant Last Updated: February 13, 2009
  5. " Women know everything by instinct," replied Claude Vignon. – Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac
  6. It was as though some deep, vague instinct warned him that something was wrong. – Cold Ghost by Chester S. Geier
  7. Let us only give the social instinct of children its fair chance. – Guide to the Kindergarten and Intermediate Class and Moral Culture of Infancy. by Elizabeth P. Peabody Mary Mann
  8. But honest passion has an instinct that can be safer than conscious wisdom. – The Complete Project Gutenberg Works of George Meredith by George Meredith
  9. Women always follow their instinct to come and sit on the other side of any man whom they regard as their property. – The Limit by Ada Leverson
  10. He signed his stories with an assumed name because he was full of dramatic instinct. – IT and Other Stories by Gouverneur Morris
  11. Clarissa, watching everything, though, with feminine instinct, seeming to watch nothing, could see that he was amazed. – Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope
  12. The instinct of the time had found its way to a comprehension of the evil before it, and of the remedy. – The History of Currency, 1252 to 1896 by William Arthur Shaw
  13. It was Ishmael, who had not seen his brother since he himself was very little, who yet knew him the first, warned by some instinct. – Secret Bread by F. Tennyson Jesse
  14. That instinct of yours always interests me. – By Wit of Woman by Arthur W. Marchmont
  15. A sure instinct told her he was not the kind of a man of whom a woman need have fear so long as her own anchor held fast. – Wyoming, a Story of the Outdoor West by William MacLeod Raine
  16. Her first feeling- the instinct that comes before thought- was one of pleasure; he had cared enough to do that. – A Tar-Heel Baron by Mabell Shippie Clarke Pelton
  17. It was at first mere instinct, but once I had it in my hands and found it fast, curiosity began to get the upper hand, and I determined I should have one look through the cabin window. – Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  18. With an instinct all its own, it slipped to the floor. – The World For Sale, Volume 2. by Gilbert Parker